Multinational chemicals manufacturer BASF is reorganising its paper, water, oilfield and mining units within the performance chemicals division to form a new global business unit in order to foster customer and industry focus and increase competitiveness through the merger of its water solutions and paper businesses.
According to the company, in the water solutions and paper chemicals businesses, cost, leadership, operational and commercial excellence, as well as efficient and reliable supply are key success factors.
“Merging the two businesses, we will be able to form a new global business unit called Paper and Water. “This will enable efficiency gains and create additional market opportunities,” says BASF president of performance chemicals division Professor Dr Christian Fischer.
Meanwhile, the company’s oilfield and mining solutions businesses operate in markets that are driven by differentiation to create sustainable industry solutions together with customers.
Success factors for suppliers to these industries are technology and innovation leadership as well as engineering and application expertise. The oilfield and mining solutions business will operate as a global business.
The company states that dedicated industry teams will increase effectiveness and focus on developing and commercialising innovative and sustainable products to support the predominantly global customers in optimising their yields.
BASF lists technology and innovation leader-ship as well as engineering and application expertise as the success factors for suppliers in the oilfield and mining industries.
Both the newly formed business units are headquartered in Ludwigshafen, in Germany, as of January this year. The company also expects an overall reduction of about 120 positions worldwide until the end of the year, owing to the alignment and the refocus of the business structures.
Fischer also notes that the company’s stepwise expansion of its polymer production network and investments in bio-acrylamide raw materials and the launch of innovative products will accelerate profitable growth.
As a company, BASF has been creating chemis- try for 150 years, with a portfolio com-prising chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products as well as oil and gas.
BASF South Africa made a donation of R100 000 to the Incubating Great Engineering Minds (iGEMS) programme to support the study of mathematics and science among the disadvantaged communities in the Nelson Mandela metropolitan municipality.
The iGEMS programme launched in 2015 is an education-to-employment initiative led by the Unity in Africa Foundation, in partnership with Go for Gold and the Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Unit of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
It is a collaboration between companies and civil society created to improve the number of candidates from disadvantaged communities eligible to study towards a technical profession and secure employment.
The programme also provides senior high school extra tuition in mathematics and science through after-school and Saturday-morning tutoring. It offers career guidance through an internship ‘gap’ year at the sponsoring companies and bridges the gap between school and university by providing courses in mathematics and science for the internship students, in order to better prepare them for university studies.
The 2016 intake has seen 15 students progress to their second year, and a new intake of 30 Grade 11 pupils. According to iGEMS pro-gramme manager, Laurene Booth-Jones, iGEMS is particularly focused on aligning its programme with the needs of the automotive, construction and renewable-energy sectors and related industries.