BASF Coatings expands waterborne basecoat production

Ground-breaking ceremony at the Würzburg site

(PresseBox) ( Würzburg / Münster, )
A ground-breaking ceremony on Thursday, December 20, 2007, marked the start of work on the expansion of production and lab capacities at BASF Coatings' Würzburg site. At the project launch, Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, Member of the Board of BASF Aktiengesellschaft, Thomas Krüger, Würzburg Site Manager, Winfried Hüttinger, Chairperson of BASF Coatings' works council at the Würzburg site, and Würzburg Lord Mayor Dr. Pia Beckmann emphasized the significance of the investment, which amounts to around 21 million euros. With the investment, BASF Coatings is strengthening its business with this environmentally friendly technology for the long term and is acknowledging the important contribution of the Würzburg site as the "cradle of the waterborne basecoat."

Würzburg employees developed the waterborne basecoat technology back in the mid-1980s. Today, even 20 years later, its product properties and ecological quality continue to set the global standards for the technology. Around 50 million vehicles currently sport waterborne basecoats "Made in Würzburg."

The demand for waterborne basecoats is growing, especially for the markets in Europe and Asia. A major milestone has been the premiere use of BASF Coatings’ waterborne basecoats for the coating of a car in China in the recent past. Another reason for the increased demand is the automotive industry’s growing need for waterborne basecoats for coating plastic add-on parts. In the future, colors for plastic add-on parts will be produced and provided to the customers more quickly and flexibly.

Capacity at the Würzburg site to be boosted by 30 percent – To be completed during the first quarter of 2009

The ground-breaking ceremony marks the launch of the construction phase. Production capacities will be expanded, and state-of-the-art dispersion and dispensing techniques will be implemented. Basecoat development will be concentrated in a newly built lab building. Additional application facilities are being set up to cover lab and production needs. Overall, the capacity at the Würzburg site will be expanded by around 30 percent. The first facilities are scheduled to start up in the second half of the coming year. The production launch of the entire project is then planned for the first quarter of 2009. Approximately 20 new jobs will be created as a result of the expansion efforts.

Investments planned for Münster site as well

BASF Coatings is investing around 8 million euros at the Münster site. Construction work has begun on a new polyurethane reactor at the Münster-Hiltrup site for the production of resins needed for the production of waterborne basecoats.

Waterborne basecoat facts

In contrast to solventborne basecoats, water replaces the majority of the organic solvents in waterborne basecoats. 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 35 percent.

Within BASF Coatings’ global network, Würzburg plays a key role in research on and the production of waterborne basecoats. At this site, paints are manufactured efficiently, using state-of-the-art processes. Würzburg is BASF's competence center for this important, environmentally friendly product.
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