BASF is implementing a series of measures in its paper chemicals business to make it more responsive to customer needs while improving profitability. These will include shutting down some latex capacity in Europe, and adjusting sales, marketing and administrative functions.
While optimizing efficiency in its traditional paper chemicals business, BASF will continue to expand its newly established Center for Sustainable Paper Packaging. “We aim to grow our new business line of sustainable solutions for packaging manufacturers. In this area, licensing of intellectual property, development partnerships and smaller acquisitions are possible,” said Dr. Uwe Liebelt, president of the paper chemicals division.
In response to decreasing market demand, BASF is adjusting capacities in its European latex manufacturing network and will shut down an annual capacity of 120,000 metric tons in Europe. In addition, the company is evaluating strategic options for its alkyl ketene dimer (AKD) business in Europe and North America.
BASF will adjust marketing, sales and administrative functions in its paper chemicals business to better reflect regional market dynamics. With a global strategic marketing and innovation team BASF will support a faster roll out of new products to help customers improve the efficiency of paper machines and lower their total cost of operations.
Approximately 250 positions in production, marketing, sales and administration will be eliminated by end of 2015.
“Altogether these measures will position the paper chemicals business to be more responsive to market and customer needs while showing significantly improved profitability. These steps reinforce BASF’s commitment to the paper industry,” continued Liebelt.
Recently, BASF signed an agreement with the French company BT3 technologies S.A.S. to evaluate the joint development of an alternative to wax in corrugated packaging board in order to facilitate recycling.