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BASF invests in European polyurethane dispersion expansion

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

BASF has announced a €1 million investment in the capacity expansion of water-based polyurethane dispersions at its Castellbisbal site in Spain. The expansion will allow BASF to increase its production capacity by 30%.

Frank Hezel, Vice President Resins and Additives EMEA at BASF, said: “The company wants to continue to provide its customers with high-quality polyurethane dispersions and help them grow by ensuring supply reliability. Considering the rising demand for polyurethane dispersions in Europe, this investment underlines BASF’s intention to assume a strong position in the business of polyurethane dispersions.”

Polyurethane dispersions constitute an important addition to the acrylate dispersions business. By expanding its portfolio in the field of adhesives, parquet flooring, automotive and industry coatings, BASF is making a valuable contribution to the change from solvent-based coating systems to more environmentally friendly and sustainable water-based systems.

For example, the production of modern cars involves the use of an ever-increasing mixture of materials. Apart from steel and aluminium, for example, car makers are increasingly using various types of plastic. This is where the adhesion feature of the entire coating structure is needed to ensure good surface quality. The new Basonol PU platform ensures that the primers and base coats used for automobiles have better adhesion qualities and feature a smoother look. The reduced need for solvents constitutes an important contribution to sustainability.

In the packaging industry, there is a demand for sustainable and flexible packaging. The plan is to use the Epotal® Eco product line to produce water-based compostable raw materials for adhesives at Castellbisbal that are going to play a decisive role, in particular regarding the development of bio-degradable packaging material. Epotal® Eco is ideally suited in the production of multi-layer films for flexible packaging (e.g. bags of crisps) based on biodegradable plastic material, which may be a solution for the new challenges faced by the packaging industry. Furthermore, the capacity expansion at Castellbisbal also considers the increasing publicly voiced concern about plastic waste, as well as new regulatory challenges such as the much tighter EU recycling quotas.

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