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Hermann Althoff, Senior Vice President, Performance Chemicals Asia Pacific, BASF.
Hermann Althoff, Senior Vice President, Performance Chemicals Asia Pacific, BASF.

Plastic additives are part of BASF’s Performance Chemicals portfolio, which mainly include antioxidants and light stabilizers, as well as flame retardants and polymer modifiers. By providing stabilization, coloration and protection solutions, BASF's plastic additives business helps customers to reduce difficulty in producing polymers and various molded parts, films, fibers, plates, extrusion profiles, etc., by improving their heat resistance and light resistance.

We are not serving the dish. We are serving pepper and salt as ingredients. A small percentage of plastic additives can have substantial effects on the forms of final products,” Hermann Althoff, Senior Vice President, Performance Chemicals Asia Pacific, BASF, told CPRJ at CHINAPLAS 2018.

For example, air-conditioners with antioxidants may function for a longer time. The same are with agriculture films and solar panels with light stabilizers. In addition, mirrors and doorknobs with plastic additives can make a used car look as good as new. It does not only make the plastic parts shiny, but also durable. Therefore, people won’t throw things away frequently and this contributes to the sustainability,” Hermann Althoff, explained.
BASF introduced the light stabilizer Tinuvin® XT 55 to improve artificial turf for sports floors at CHINAPLAS 2018.
Joined BASF in 1988, Hermann Althoff was appointed to the current position of Senior Vice President, Performance Chemicals Asia Pacific in 2015. For 27 years in between, he held a couple of marketing and leader roles at business units of Chemicals, Polyamides & Intermediates, etc.in Ludwigshafen, Singapore, India and Hong Kong, having gained a deep insight into the plastic additive market in Asia.

He mentioned that Japan and Korea do not produce as many plastic products as China, but the use percentage of plastic additives in plastic products in these two countries is much higher than that in similar products in China. “Plastic applications in Japan and Korea are more sophisticated. You can see quite a lot of Japanese automotive parts suppliers use many plastic additives in PP to make their products more competitive,” commented Hermann Althoff.

But we see huge potentials in China,” he continued, “We see a lot of faded plastic parts in China. That is because plastic producers in China used to focus on the cost of plastic products and seldom used plastic additives. But now China is catching up. As Chinese consumers ask for more high-quality products, producers need to make things different.”

New factory with blending facility in Shanghai

BASF' s plastic additives production site in Caojing, Shanghai .As Hermann Althoff pointed out, the market demand for plastic additives in China is on the rise. Therefore, BASF broke ground a new factory in Caojing, Shanghai, China. This is the first plastic additives factory in China, the seventh plastic additives production site worldwide for BASF, in addition to the sites in Singapore, Korea, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, USA and Mexico.

The Caojing factory will come into production in two phases, respectively in 2019 and 2020 with a total capacity of 42000 tons to mainly target the China market. The factory will have a blending facility by 2019 when Phase I starts production. This is the first time for a plastic additives producer to integrate a blending facility into its production process.

Caojing town has built a state-level industrial park with a waste water treatment facility, which will contribute to the sustainable development of our business here. We are not only fulfilling the latest environmental regulations in China but also following strict environment protection standards of BASF. The strict enforcement of China’ environmental regulations can lead to a fair playing ground for all,” said Hermmann Althoff.

In addition to the capacity expansion in China, innovation is another important strategy for BASF to maintain their position in the plastic additives market in China.“ It is a combination of sustainable production with expertise and technological know-how. We are capable of ensuring constant high quality for all products,” remarked Hermmann Althoff.

It's like practicing the Chinese traditional medicine-the doctor has the know-how and finds out what is wrong with you and then provides you with a cure by mixing several herbs based on a certain proportion. And that is how we work out the plastic additives solutions,” concludedHermmann Althoff.

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