Ludwigshafen, Germany - BASF plans to open a second Russian polyurethane systems operation in spring 2012, at a site near St Petersburg, to strengthen its worldwide network of PU system houses. Although it did not reveal the capacity of the site, the group revealed that it is already considering an expansion there.
As with its existing Russian systems house in Nishnekamsk, set up in 2000, this site will also be a joint venture with Russian company OAO Nishnekamskneftechim (NKNC). BASF did not reveal its investment in the operation.
In its 20 Sept announcement, BASF said its arrangement with NKNC means that it can draw on local polyol production in Russia, and be a reliable partner for its customers.
With 38 systems houses worldwide, as well as production sites for the main precursor PU products, BASF said it can reliably supply its global customers from local production sites.
"With this investment into a second Russian site we show our local customers that we want to be their preferred partner and support their growth by having regard for special local requirements," stated Wayne Smith, president BASF Polyurethanes, in the company announcement. "This is the systematic implementation of our successful worldwide strategy of having sites that are close to the customer which will strengthen our leadership position in the polyurethane market."
BASF has recently opened PU systems houses in Poland and Dubai and started construction at two further sites in Tianjin and Chongqing in China.
The applications technology centre near St. Petersburg will provide technical services and sales know-how for polyurethane systems, to serve customers from a wide range of businesses, BASF said. A focus for this operation is on the automotive and construction industries as well as on CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers) uses. The building will house a technology centre and office space alongside storage areas and a test laboratory.
Dr Uwe Hartwig, senior vice president BASF Polyurethanes Europe, stressed: "This additional site will further strengthen our partnership-based customer relations in Russia, particularly in the St. Petersburg region. In this way we have created a perfect basis for our customer's success in a strongly growing market for polyurethane applications; and we are considering further expansions of the site in the long term."
Its existing Nishnekamsk operation has given BASF a strong market position in Russia in polyurethane systems. BASF sees significant potential for growth especially in the automotive and construction segments of the market for applications using high quality polyurethane system solutions.