"With this investment BASF demonstrates its long-term commitment to the underground construction and coal mining industry on a global basis. We will bring our best technologies to the industry in China and around the world," said Dr Tilman Krauch, president Construction Chemicals at BASF, in the statement.
Krauch added that Hock, "With its well-established market position and reputation in the coal mining industry, … provides both product expertise and a strong customer base. Combined with BASF's technology capabilities, expertise in environment, health, and safety as well as strength in innovation, the new venture is set to be an important partner to local as well as global mining experts."
In 2010, Hock had sales of roughly Euro 50 million ($69 million).
BASF notes that injection technology has been used in European markets such as Germany for the past 30 years, but was only introduced in China 10 years ago. Injection and cavity filling using substances such as polyurethanes or other construction chemicals into fractured rock, sands, gravel or coal helps prevent water or gas accumulation and thus stabilises cavities in tunnels, the company explains.
"Both BASF and Hock share the same philosophy on developing high-quality safety measures for mining and underground construction projects. I am happy to stay and contribute to the new company," said Jingsheng Cui, general manager of BASF Hock Mining Chemical (China), and founder of Hock.
According to the Chinese expert, the joint venture will "match local and international expertise to better serve mining customers in this important growing market."
BASF sees a growing market for solutions serving the coal mining industry, driven by the continuing growth in demand for coal. Demand is expected to rise for at least the next 20 years, says BASF, primarily in the non-OECD countries such as China and India where coal is used for power generation, for steel and cement production, and as a raw material in the chemical industry.