BASF in South Africa celebrates company’s 150th anniversary with an interactive programme.

27 May 2015

The year 2015 is a landmark for BASF marking 150 since its founding in Germany in 1865. It began by developing and producing dyes, followed ammonia to make fertiliser and then by plastics.

Since then, the company’s portfolio has developed continuously, and today the product range covers a wide spectrum of industries from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection to oil and gas.

BASF has operated internationally since its beginnings, supplying customers in almost every industry with products and solutions, and supporting them with research and innovations.

This anniversary also pays tribute to the creativity and determination of employees, past and present who, for 150 years, have achieved the right balance between risk-taking and responsibility.

Since BASF is a science and research-based company, anniversary celebrations had to be more innovative and progressive. A prerequisite was that the anniversary concept be connected to BASF’s strategy and corporate purpose: ‘We create chemistry for a sustainable future.’

This statement epitomises what has made, and continues to make, BASF successful. It encompasses three key concepts: We develop innovations; we do this together with others; the solutions we develop help make the future more sustainable.

Laurent Tainturier, senior vice president for EUE region, including CIS-Middle East-Africa explains: “Today’s requirements and society’s expectations are complex. Our focus remains on improving people’s quality of life – but not at the expense of future generations. One principle guides our research: sustainability.

We treat resources with care and respect and strive to strike a balance between economy, environment and society.”

Collaboration to innovate

BASF has always had an innovative and collaborative culture. BASF continues to work closely with the university researchers, scientists and chemists who have provided the cornerstones for our research.
However, today’s joint endeavours involve many more disciplines. A wind power turbine, for example, requires a team of researchers, developers and market experts.

It is not only about improving material properties, but ensuring they fit and work together optimally. Within BASF, staff need to work across different divisions and combine the knowledge of many experts.

Joan-Maria Garcia-Girona, vice president, and head of BASF in South and Sub-Saharan Africa explains: “Our anniversary offers an opportunity to go beyond these proven collaborations. New methods of communication and different self-awareness have changed people’s expectations. We want to initiate something new with our anniversary and find new ways of working together – both within BASF and with people outside the company.

We see the Creator Space™ programme as an ideal opportunity to bring BASF closer to our target groups.”
BASF’s global and local anniversary programme is envisaged as a virtual laboratory – the Creator Space™ programme, in which we can try out new ways of working together over the next year and beyond – within BASF and with other stakeholders.

It is interactive and enlivened by the ideas and discussions of its visitors. Ideas and solutions from virtual discussions are incorporated into other collaborative and co-creative anniversary activities such as the Creator Space Tour, being hosted in India, China, USA, South America, Spain and Germany.

The South African anniversary programme

The South African anniversary programme includes interactive events throughout the region, involving scientists, customers, business partners and employees. The widely varying activities will focus on the three strategic global topics: energy, food and urban living.

About BASF in Africa

The BASF Group has been active in Africa for 90 years, exporting products to Kenya from its headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany, since the late 1920s. Today, the BASF Group has over 1,300 employees in Africa (excluding the oil and gas business).

In North Africa, the company is represented in Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The key industries are construction, textiles, agriculture, automotive and the health care and plastics sectors.

In 2011 BASF opened a business hub in Nairobi, Kenya, followed in 2012 by a business hub in Lagos, Nigeria. Recently a BASF Construction Chemicals admixture plant has been inaugurated in Nairobi, Kenya, with a further admixture production site planned for Lagos in 2015.

About BASF, South Africa

BASF has been active in South Africa for over 45 years. Headquartered in Midrand, Johannesburg, the BASF Group in South Africa consists of seven companies located in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. BASF has six productions sites and, in 2012, invested in an acrylic dispersions production plant in Durban. The local employee complement is around 1000 people.

For further local information visit

Read the latest issue

Latest Issue