Ludwigshafen, Germany – The functional materials and solutions segment of chemical company BASF achieved sales of EUR17.7bn during 2014.
The segment, which heads up the firm’s performance materials arm, achieved a 3% increase on 2013 sales, it was revealed at the company’s financial press conference at Ludwigshafen on Friday, 27 February. The segment’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) was 12% up on 2013 at EUR1.4bn.
Polyurethanes, thermoplastics, foams – both specialty and standard, engineered plastics and epoxy resin are sold out of the performance materials arm and, it was revealed, that section of the business was responsible for 37% of the segment’s total sales income – or EUR6.5bn in sales revenues. This figure was also higher than 2013, the company’s financial papers showed, by 1% or EUR49m.
During the conference, a hybrid product comprised of plastic and polyurethane for the automobile industry and developed by BASF was singled out as a key growth area in BASF’s strategy for the coming years.
In his speech to journalists at the company’s HQ site in Germany, Kurt Bock, chairman of the board of executive directors, said that the company expected the innovation to be in use in 2m cars by 2018.
The product creates a weight saving of 25%, according to BASF. In it, Ultramid, a plastic developed by the company, replaces metal and will help increase fuel efficiency and combat emissions. The Cellasto aspect – a polyurethane - is a dampener for the prevention of noise and vibration.
Bock said: “Through this innovation we aim to increase sales for this application by more than 10% each year on average.”
The company’s functional materials and solutions business will, according to Bock, “make considerably larger contribution” to future growth in revenues.
BASF’s chemicals segment – from which the firm’s MDI and TDI, monomers, are sold – reported sales of EUR16.9bn for 2014, the same level as that reported for 2013. The monomers arms of the chemical segment accounted for 37% of the total sales revenue – EUR6.3bn – which is 1% less than in 2013. The segment’s EBITDA was reported at EUR3.2bn – an 8.7% hike on 2013.
The company’s isocyanates output across Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific was revealed as 1,900kT during 2014. Butanediol equivalents, produced in the same regions as isocyanates – was reported at 540kT over 2014. Propylene oxide (PO) production – from the firm’s PO sites in Europe and Asia Pacific – was reported as 925kT during 2014.
Chemical plant due for startup this year include a 400kT/year capacity MDI in Chongqing, China, a 300kT/year TDI in Ludwigshafen and a 100kt/year capacity Ultramid plant in Shanghai, China.