BASF plans major investment in pioneering superabsorbent technology

November 26, 2014

Press Release

  • Investment of up to €500 million in production capacities worldwide
  • Highly innovative superabsorbent polymer SAVIVATM to be launched starting end of 2016
  • Pioneering technology platform enables more comfortable and thinner diaper designs

Ludwigshafen, Germany – November 26, 2014 – BASF today announced plans for a major investment in a pioneering superabsorbent technology platform of its hygiene business. BASF will invest up to €500 million ($625 million) over the next 2 to 3 years to establish droplet polymerization capacities worldwide by revamping existing plants. The rollout of the new technology underlines BASF’s technology leadership and leading position in the market for superabsorbent polymers.

Superabsorbent polymers are polymers that can absorb and retain extremely large amounts of liquid relative to their own mass. They are used as a main component in baby diapers, incontinence products and feminine hygiene products. BASF researchers have worked intensively in the last decade to develop a new technology and optimize the corresponding production processes. BASF will launch a new generation of highly innovative superabsorbent polymers under the trademark SAVIVA™. The launch is scheduled sequentially, starting end of 2016.

Based on its round-shaped particles with micro-pores, SAVIVA™ has an innovative liquid distribution mechanism, making it a highly efficient superabsorbent polymer in a diaper core. It has been tested comprehensively in laboratories, in diaper prototypes and with end consumers in home-use tests, confirming its outstanding properties and its performance in diapers. Selected customers have already given positive feedback.
“To launch this breakthrough innovation in a fast and efficient way, BASF has developed a revamp strategy. In order to keep time-to-market as short as possible, BASF will extend and modify already existing production sites,” said Michael Heinz, Member of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF SE. Existing facilities will in future be able to produce both SAVIVA™ and the current product HySorb®.
The first wave of revamping existing plants will be kicked off in Europe, closely followed by plants in Asia and the Americas. This underlines the business approach BASF is taking, investing close to its customers and providing a global footprint for a reliable, global supply.
“The outstanding absorption performance and soft feel of SAVIVA™ offer an innovation platform for the development of new hygiene solutions. It is a highly efficient enabler for future generations of diaper designs, offering a new level of comfort and dryness,” said Teressa Szelest, Senior Vice President of the Global Hygiene Business, BASF SE. With its unique properties and efficiency SAVIVATM is making a contribution to sustainability in terms of weight reduction of diapers and also addresses the needs of a changing social environment.
With a global network of research, production and service sites and an annual superabsorbent polymers production capacity of 590,000 metric tons, BASF is a leading partner of the global hygiene industry.

About BASF’s Care Chemicals division
The BASF division Care Chemicals offers a broad range of ingredients for hygiene, personal care, home care, industrial & institutional cleaning, and technical applications. We are the global leading supplier for the cosmetics industry as well as the detergents and cleaners industry and support our customers with innovative and sustainable products, solutions and concepts. The division’s high-performance product portfolio includes surfactants, emulsifiers, polymers, emollients, chelating agents, cosmetic active ingredients, pigments and UV filters. Superabsorbent polymers developed for the full spectrum of hygiene applications complete the range. We have production and development sites in all regions and are expanding our presence in emerging markets. Further information is available on the Internet at www.care-chemicals.basf.com.

About BASF
At BASF, we create chemistry – and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world’s leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of about €74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.

Thomas Nonnast

Business Press
Phone: +49 30 206 295 034

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Simone Kaiser

BASF
Phone: +49 621 60-95795

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