BASF Finishes Three Capacity Expansion Projects in Shanghai
BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany, has undertaken three key capacity expansion projects for performance materials at its Pudong site in Shanghai: Ultramid (polyamide, PA), Ultradur (polybutylene terephthalate, PBT), Elastollan thermoplastics polyurethane elastomers (TPU), and Technical Center and capacity expansion of Cellasto (microcellular polyurethane components).
Ultramid and Ultradur
The company estimates the Asia Pacific market for engineering plastics will grow on average by about 7% per year. This growth is driven by the increasing usage of engineering plastics in various segments, including transportation, construction, high speed railway, as well as the electrical and electronics industry. Ultramid and Ultradur are used in automotive parts and innovative applications include seat structures, oil sump modules, sensors, engine mounts, connectors and highly integrated laser-structured electronic devices.
BASF's compounding plant’s total capacity for Ultramid and Ultradur compounds has doubled from currently 45,000 to more than 100,000 metric tons per year – making it the company's biggest engineering plastics compounding facility in Asia Pacific. The expansion, which is operational more than six months ahead of schedule, also includes a compounding line for specialty grades that enables BASF to tap the burgeoning market potential for specialty applications. With this project and the new compounding plant in Yesan, Chung Nam Province, Korea, which is expected to begin operations from the end of 2015, BASF’s overall compounding capacities in Asia will increase from the current 130,000 to a total of 225,000 metric tons.
Elastollan TPU is a versatile material that offers the highest innovation potential. It can be processed with different methods, including extrusion and injection molding as well as blow molding. BASF has now completed a significant capacity expansion at its Shanghai-based Elastollan plant, which was established in 2007. Elastollan TPU has a long history of success in China. The expansion of capacity for TPU in China will support growth of the rapidly growing market for textile, footwear, transportation, wire and cable sheathing and other industrial applications.
In 2013, more than 42 million cars were sold in Asia Pacific and over 20 million in China, the world’s largest automotive market. The number is foreseen to increase to 33 million in China and 62 million in Asia Pacific by 2020 (source: LMC Automotive Ltd 2013 Report). Cellasto is the customized solution for damping and reduction of the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) level of vehicles. In Asia Pacific, BASF will strengthen the technical leadership of Cellasto, based on the existing facilit y at BASF Pudong site, which was established in 2011 . The new investment project includes the expansion of the Cellasto Asia Pacific Technical Center, the establishment of three new production lines , and the technical improvement of existing facilities. The production capacity will be doubled after the project completion in 2015.
Cellasto components are sold to the automotive industry mainly as jounce bumpers, top mounts and coil spring isolators for suspension, as well as other NVH parts. BASF currently produces Cellasto at six sites worldwide: Lemförde, Germany, Shanghai and Nansha, China, Guaratinguetá, Brazil, Shinshiro, Japan, and Wyandotte, USA.
Would you like to subscribe to our Newsletters on plastics technology and profit from the latest information?
Looking for a new challenge? Check out our jobs market!
Patents encourage innovation: Stay on the ball with the latest innovations in the plastics industry in our patents section.