Ludwigshafen, Germany -- BASF and FAR Fabbrica Adesivi Resine SpA of Cologno Monzese, Italy, are to cooperate in production, marketing and sales of trimethylolpropane (TMP), in a deal expected to take effect in July 2009, subject to antitrust approval.
The agreement will see FAR produce TMP for both partners at its Vercelli site, near Milan, while BASF will be exclusively market and sell the TMP.
TMP is used to make polyurethanes, synthetic lubricants and coatings. BASF makes many other polyalcohols, -- neopentylglycol (NPG), hexanediol (HDO) and hydroxypivalic acid neopentylglycolester (HPN). Apart from the above applications, these intermediates are valuable in the production of adhesives and polyester resins.
As part of the arrangement with FAR, BASF will mothball its TMP plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, a move affecting eight BASF employees, who will assume other jobs at the site.
"Polyalcohols are one of our core businesses," said Dr Tom Witzel, head of the Regional Business Unit Diols and Polyalcohols of BASF's Intermediates division, adding that the deal with FAR will strengthen BASF's TMP business. "In the current difficult market situation we are temporarily focusing on one manufacturing site only. ... We have already optimised the Vercelli TMP production," with FAR, he added.
This means the quality of TMP produced there will comply with both companies' standards and meet customers' expectations, said Witzel.
"We contribute our long-standing manufacturing expertise to this collaboration, with BASF adding its global business competencies," said Dr Antonio Moro, chief executive officer of FAR: "This is a win-win situation for our customers as well as the two companies involved."