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BASF plans for eco-friendly Shanghai events

2010. 26 March

basf_logo_expo2010.gif by Lauren Hilgers
( When BASF SE revealed the design of its booth for Chinaplas 2010, the company made clear that Asia’s largest plastics exhibition was not the only Shanghai event it would be participating in.

This years Chinaplas, held in Shanghai, will take place days before the start of Shanghai’s coming-out party, the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, and BASF will be taking part in both.

The World Expo, the updated version of the World’s Fair, is expected to attract 70 million visitors over a six-month period and BASF is taking the World Expo theme, “Better City, Better Life,” to heart, focusing both its World Expo contributions and its Chinaplas booth on the company’s efforts to promote sustainability.

“Chinaplas this year is the largest ever,” said Hermann Althoff, the group vice president for BASF’s Engineering Plastics Asia Pacific, speaking at a Shanghai news conference. “We’re focusing on our customers, and among the common challenges that our customers face is how to improve efficiency and eco-friendliness.”

The booth will focus on key markets, including automotive, construction, packaging and leisure. For automotive applications, BASF offers light alternatives to traditional materials like steel. Auto manufacturers in China use heavy parts that, in other parts of the world, have already been replaced by plastics, said Martin Brudermueller, a member of the board of executive directors of Ludwigsghafen, Germany-based BASF SE.

“If you look inside a car, the amount of specialty plastics you see is a measure of how developed the plastics market is,” Brudmuller pointed out. “Chinese cars still have a good opportunity to reduce weight.”

The company’s construction materials also offer China opportunities to improve energy efficiency. The company’s insulation materials, like Neopur and Styrodur can be used in new construction projects and installed in older buildings.

The company is showcasing those materials at the World Expo, where a section of the fair will be dedicated to “urban best practices.” BASF materials will be used in the construction of the Hamburg House, a low-energy model home that is expected to maintain a constant temperature of 25° Celsius (77° Fahrenheit) without consuming any electricity from the city grid. The BASF materials provide a 20 percent higher insulating effect over the commonly used expandable polystyrene, helping to create what BASF calls a “passive house.”

“After the Expo is over, the city will be converting the building into office space,” said Zheng Daqing, a senior vice president of BASF group and member of BASF’s Greater China Country Board.

The Chinaplas booth will also feature a super-light concept car, developed with Hyundai and first introduced in early March, at the Geneva Auto Show, as well as a range of the company’s other biodegradable and eco-friendly products.

Echoing the Chinese version of the World Expo slogan, Zheng commented, “We will show people that chemistry can make life better.”