Ludwigshafen, Germany -- BASF announced 5 Nov a customer-focussed approach which will see its polyurethane systems business become part of a new Performance Materials division.
Polyurethane raw materials will meanwhile become part of a new Monomers division, while propylene oxide will be part of Petrochemicals.
The new Performance Materials division will bundle BASF's innovative, downstream plastics from the current Performance Polymers and Polyurethanes divisions, and focus on important customer industries such as automotive, construction, electrics and electronics, said BASF.
Groups will include BASF's polyurethane systems, engineering plastics, thermoplastic polyurethanes, Cellasto engineering PU elastomer, biopolymers, functional foams, Styropor, Neopor, Styrodur, and epoxy systems.
Raimar Jahn, currently head of the Polyurethanes division, will head this new Performance Materials division. Dr Martin Brudermüller, BASF vice chairman, will represent the division on the board.
The remaining activities of the current plastics segment, which is being dissolved, will become part of BASF's chemicals segment.
"The scope of skills and know-how that we combine under one roof is what sets us apart from our competitors. In the new organisation, the bundling of product groups with the same business model will help management to better focus on the success factors necessary to be a market leader both in meeting customer's needs and in operational excellence," said Dr Kurt Bock, BASF chairman, in a BASF announcement.
The new division will join BASF's Functional Solutions business, which will be renamed Functional Materials & Solutions. Other divisions in this segment are Catalysts, Construction Chemicals and Coatings.
BASF says "Key success factors for these businesses include a deep understanding of the customer industries and their value chains as well as multi-disciplinary know-how which enables constant innovation. The tailor-made products and services offered are supported by industry and application expertise."
The Chemicals segment will continue to focus on developing BASF's production Verbund, the group commented, noting that such "highly integrated production offers substantial competitive advantages."
Main success factors for this grouping, said BASF, are operational and technology excellence, scale, integration and raw material conditions, reliable and low-cost logistics as well as the reduction of complexity.
Board member Wayne Smith will remain responsible for the Chemicals segment, and its three divisions will be more strongly focused along chemical value chains to minimise interfaces.
The Intermediates division will focus primarily on the C1 value chain. Product groups include amines, butanediol and derivates, polyalcohols, organic acids & specialities, methanol, formaldehyde, life science intermediates and Oase gas-treating solutions. Sanjeev Gandhi will continue to head this division.
A new Monomers division will bundle the majority of product groups from the current Inorganics division with many of the large-volume monomers and basic polymers from the current Performance Polymers and Polyurethanes divisions. Products for this division include basic polyurethane raw materials, MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) TDI (toluene diisocyanate) and HMD (hexamethylene diisocyanate),as well as caprolactam, adipic acid, polyamide 6 and 6.6, ammonia, nitric acid, sulphur and chlorine products, melamine, glues & resins and electronic materials. Head of the Monomers division will be Stefano Pigozzi, currently head of the Inorganics division.
The current Petrochemicals division will be expanded to include propylene oxide, bundling all major derivatives of propylene together with other cracker products. Prof Rainer Diercks will remain head of the Petrochemicals division.
The Performance Products, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas segments remain unchanged.
BASF said that for external financial reporting the new structure will apply for the first-quarter interim report 2013, due 26 Apr 2013.