BASF Coatings expands production and laboratory capacities for waterborne coatings

Rising demand in Europe and Asia for eco-efficient coatings

Ludwigshafen, (PresseBox) - BASF Coatings is expanding its production and laboratory capacities for the manufacture of eco-efficient waterborne coatings at its Würzburg site. This is the company's response to the growing demand in the European and Asian markets, especially from the automotive industry. In Münster-Hiltrup, BASF Coatings is also investing in the construction of a new polyurethane reactor to produce resins required for the manufacture of waterborne coatings. The combined investment totaling around €29 million is one of the largest in the company's history.

In contrast to conventional base coats, waterborne coatings contain very low levels of organic solvents, most of which are replaced by water. This has the advantage of considerably diminishing their environmental impact by reducing solvent emissions. While in 1997 the proportion of waterborne coating systems used worldwide was 20 percent, today this has now reached a level of about 35 percent.

BASF Coatings is already Europe's No. 1 in the growing market for waterborne coatings. Juan G. Ximénez-Carrillo Gerber, head of Automotive OEM Coatings Solutions, a business unit of BASF Coatings, emphasizes: "This expansion of our capacities means we can supply our customers with outstanding products over the long term." Dr. Thomas Krüger, Site Manager in Würzburg, adds: "The demand for waterborne coatings has distinctly increased, especially for plastic add-ion parts."

The Würzburg facility is already successfully established as the BASF Coatings' competence center for waterborne coatings. The investment will also create 20 new jobs. Besides extending the buildings for production and the application equipment, BASF Coatings is also modernizing and expanding the laboratory facilities. This means that new colors for plastic add-on parts can be developed and made available to customers more rapidly. The activities in Würzburg are scheduled to commence this year.

BASF: A major international player in coatings
BASF Coatings AG belongs to the global Coatings Division of the BASF Group. In 2006 the Coatings Division achieved world sales of about 2,3 billion euros. The Coatings Division develops, produces and markets a high-quality range of innovative automotive OEM coatings, automotive refinishes and industrial coatings as well as decorative paints, and also the processes needed to apply them. In this business, eco-efficient water-based, powder and high-solids coatings as well as radiation-curable systems play a special part. In Brazil, the company has been successful in the decorative paints market for years and holds the leading position. BASF has a major, global presence in the Coatings sector, with significant market positions in Europe, North America, South America and the Asia/Pacific region, for example with affiliates in Australia, China, India, Japan, and the Philippines. The internet address of BASF Coatings is www.basf-coatings.com.

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