BASF Coatings expands waterborne basecoat production

Capacity expansion at Würzburg site completed

Würzburg / Münster, (PresseBox) - Around one and one-half years after the construction start, BASF Coatings has officially launched its new production and lab capacities for basecoats at the Würzburg site. At the opening ceremony, Dr. Stefan Marcinowski, Member of the Board of BASF SE, Dr. Walter Jouck, Würzburg Site Manager, Bernhard Zentgraf, Chairperson of BASF Coatings' works council at the Würzburg site and Würzburg Lord Mayor Georg Rosenthal recognized the significance of the investment, which amounts to around 21 million euros. "With this capacity expansion, we are making a bold statement in the face of the economic crisis," Marcinowski stressed. "We are pursuing our long-term strategy and are consistently building on our environmentally friendly waterborne basecoat technology."

The expanded lab capacities in particular will permit BASF to respond to its customers' wishes even more flexibly and quickly. In addition to marking the opening of the new facilities, BASF Coatings is celebrating two major anniversaries in Würzburg in 2009: 50 years of coatings production at the site, and 40 years of basecoat manufacturing. As Jouck put it, "The Würzburg site is the competence center for basecoats in BASF Coatings' worldwide network. This investment clearly confirms the Würzburg site's role as the cradle of BASF's waterborne basecoat."

During the mid-1980s, BASF employees in Würzburg developed the waterborne basecoat technology. Today, even 20 years later, it continues to set the global standards in terms of product properties and ecological quality. Around 50 million vehicles currently sport waterborne basecoats "Made in Würzburg," and the numbers are growing. The markets in Europe in particular, and increasingly in Asia too, are committing to environmentally friendly products. In addition, the automotive industry's demand for waterborne basecoats for coating plastic add-on parts has grown. In the future, new colors for plastic add-on parts will be produced and provided to the customers even more quickly and flexibly.

Thirty-percent increase in capacity in Würzburg

Production capacities have been expanded and state-of-the-art dispersion and dosing techniques implemented. Basecoat development has been concentrated in a newly constructed lab building. Additional application facilities have been set up to cover lab and production needs. Overall, the capacity at the Würzburg site has been boosted by around 30 percent.

Waterborne basecoats reduce environmental impact

In waterborne basecoats, water replaces the majority of the organic solvents that solventborne basecoats contain. The resulting reduction in solvent emissions means a considerably lower impact on the environment - a huge advantage of the technology. While in 1997 the rate of use of waterborne paint systems was 20 percent throughout the world, today this rate has risen to approximately 50 percent. Within BASF Coatings' global network, Würzburg plays a key role in research on and the production of waterborne basecoats. At this site, coatings are manufactured in a very efficient way using state-of-the-art processes. Würzburg is BASF's competence center for this important, environmentally friendly product.

About BASF Coatings

BASF Coatings, the Coatings Division of the BASF Group, develops, produces and markets a high-quality range of innovative automotive OEM coatings, automotive refinishes and industrial coatings as well as decorative paints. BASF has significant market positions in the Coatings sector in Europe, North America, South America and the Asia/Pacific region. In 2008 BASF Coatings achieved global sales of almost 2.5 billion Euros. The internet address of BASF Coatings is www.basf-coatings.com. You can download a copy of BASF Coatings customer magazine

"COATINGSPARTNER" from www.coatingspartner.com

BASF Coatings GmbH

BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals as well as oil and gas. As a reliable partner BASF helps its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €62 billion in 2008 and had approximately 97,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.

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