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Brief History

Basell, whose corporate office is in the Netherlands, is a global leader in polymer production. The company was formed through a merger of Elenac, Montell and Targor. In July 2005, Nell Acquisition SARL, a Luxembourg based, 100% owned affiliate of Access Industries, completed its purchase of Basell from BASF and Shell for Eur4.4-bil, including debt.

A company spokesperson commented that the period of uncertainty has ended with the purchase by Access. They are proud that Basell has gained an industrial and strategic investor. He said that Access has a very positive approach and values Basell. For customers, business will continue as usual as the management is the same and they won’t see a change. Basell has a great future ahead and they plan for plenty of streamlining and rationalizing so that they are successful to counter the winds of the industry.

Basell says it is the world’s largest PP producer with 8,000 KT of capacity; including its joint ventures and the leader in advanced polyolefins products. In PE, it is 1st in Europe and 7th worldwide with more than 2,500 KT of capacity. It has manufacturing sites in 21 countries, which includes its joint ventures and sells products in more than 120 countries. Besides, polymer production, Basell is a leading supplier of catalysts and a global leader in the development and licensing of PP and PE production processes.

The company has three businesses:

  • Technology Business – this includes licensing, catalysts developments and sales, R&D and new projects
  • Advanced Polyolefins Business – this consists of PP compounds and other specialty products
  • Polyolefins Business – this covers PP and PE.

Basell’s reach extends around the world. Besides its Netherlands headquarters, it has regional offices in Belgium, Germany, the United States and Hong Kong, plus, sales offices in major markets. In addition, the company participates in ten joint ventures in Central Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, South America and the Middle East including:

  Basell Orlen Polyolefins
  Basell Advanced Polyolefins Thailand
  HMC Polymers
  Machino Basell India
  Taiwan Polypropylene

Its activities in the main regions of the world are as follows:

  Europe – Basell Polyolefins is the largest producer and seller of PP and PE in Europe. Its PP capacity is around 2,900 KT and PE around 2,600 KT. It has plants in seven countries including France (Berre L’etang/Aubette, Fos sur Mer, Notre Dame de Gravenchon), Germany (Frankfurt, Knapsack, Münchsmünster, Wesseling), Italy (Ferrara, Terni), The Netherlands (Pernis), Poland (Plock), Spain (Tarragona) and the United Kingdom (Carrington).
  Africa and Middle East – Basell AFME supplies polyolefins from Europe and from its global joint ventures. Offices in Turkey and Egypt help serve this region.
  Asia-Pacific – Basell’s activity in this region consists of manufacturing joint ventures, wholly owned operations and commercial representatives. It is a leader in Asia with 2 million tons of capacity.
  Australia – Basell is the largest manufacturer of PP in the country. It has 240,000 tons/year PP capacity.
  North America – Basell is the largest PP producer and seller in the United States and Canada and is involved in a joint venture in Mexico. Altogether including the Mexican site, capacity is around 4 mil lbs/year. Sites include Bayport, Texas; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Sarnia, Ontario, and Varennes, Quebec. In addition, it is the exclusive purchaser and marketer of PP produced at ConocoPhillips’ Bayway plant in Linden, N.J. In Mexico, its Indelpro joint venture is in Tampico.
  Latin America – Basell’s activities include joint ventures and commercial representatives. It is the largest regional PP producer with plants in Brazil and Argentina and it supplies material from North America and Europe.

History in Turkey

Basell has its own liaison office in Istanbul, Turkey which was started when Basell was founded in 2000, although the office has its roots in Montell starting in 1996.

The office conducts market research for investment activities on behalf of headquarters. It can also offer technology support and technical service.

Basell through its joint venture, Saudi Polyolefins Company, established a warehouse in Turkey a year ago. A company spokesperson notes that Turkey is a target market so they set up the warehouse in Mersin to provide quick delivery, to be close to the Gaziantep industrial area and to offer cost advantages through logistics and technical support. There are further plans for new capacity in the Middle East and Turkey will continue to be a target market with this material acting as a complement or replacing supply from Europe. The spokesperson noted that its two new joint ventures in Saudi Arabia will allow Basell to grow in Turkey.

A spokesperson estimated that Basell sold around 200,000 tons of PP and PE to Turkey in 2004, including material from Europe and the Middle East. Of the total, it is estimated that 70% is PP and 30% is PE.

Product Range

Basell’s Polyolefins Business providing PP and PE comprises the following products and tradenames:

  Adflex: Very soft, flexible polyolefins based on Catalloy process
  Adstif: High crystalinity polypropylene with very high stiffness
  Adsyl: Low seal initiation temperature resins based on Catalloy process
  Clyrell: Polypropylene resins with an outstanding combination of transparency and impact strength
  Hifax: Grades with outstanding impact performance for use in customer industrial and exterior automotive applications; grades for use in customer wire & cable applications and grades with flame retardant properties
  Hostacom: Glass fibre-reinforced, mineral-filled grades and unfilled coloured grades for use in customer electrical appliances and for use in customer automotive interiors and under-the-hood applications
  Hostalen: High density polyethylene for use in customer film applications, blow moulding applications, pipe, injection moulding applications, tapes, monofilaments and fibers
  Hostalen PP: Grades based on high molecular weight polypropylene for use in customer pipe and sheet applications
  Lucalen: Ethylene/acrylic acid/acrylate copolymer for use in customer film applications and steel pipe coating
  Luflexen: Metallocene-based linear low-density polyethylene for use in customer film applications
  Lupolen: Low density polyethylene and medium density polyethylene; high density polyethylene for use in customer film applications, blow moulding applications, steel pipe coating, pipe and injection moulding applications
  Lupolex: Linear low-density polyethylene for use in customer film applications
  Metocene: Homopolymer, random and impact copolymer products based on single-site metallocene catalysts
  Moplen: Homopolymer, random and impact copolymer products based on Ziegler-Natta catalysts
  Polybutene-1: Resins for use in customer applications such as easy-open packaging, film modification, hot melt, polyolefin modification and pipe*
  Pro-fax: Homopolymer, random and impact copolymer products based on Ziegler-Natta catalysts
  Pro-fax Ultra: High performance polypropylene resins
  Purell - Specialty polypropylene and polyethylene products for use in customer medical and pharmaceutical applications
  Softell: Exceptionally soft, flexible, soft touch resins based on Catalloy process

Expansion Plans

Basell International says it is engaged in several projects to supply global customers in developing markets. Its expansion plan focuses on building on its strengths in key growth markets such as China, while utilizing advantaged feedstock supply in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The company says it is always interested in exploring joint venture possibilities around the world in order to better serve its global community. It established a New Ventures section of its Technology Business to identify such opportunities to expand.

In terms of polymer production expansion, Basell has recently constructed and brought online two world-scale 300,000 tons/year HDPE plants at Wesseling, Germany and Plock, Poland. The site in Poland is through its Basell Orlen Polyolefins joint venture with PKN Orlen.

A company spokesperson said that there are also two more joint ventures planned in Saudi Arabia. Basell signed a jv for production of around 450,000 tons/year PP using its Spherizone technology where it will have sole marketing rights. The startup is planned for 2007. The second investment is based on an 800-900,000 tons/year ethane cracker where Basell technology will be used to produce LDPE and HDPE downstream. Again, Basell is the sole marketer and startup is planned for 2008.

Internet / Chemorbis Strategy

Basell is an advanced user of the internet in its business strategy. According to the company, it created the world’s first nofrills, on-line polyolefins business. It launched its new site, Alastian, in April 2004 as a new business model for offering a selection of commonly used Basell products. It is targeted for customers who buy PP and PE by full truckloads and know which products are best suited for their applications.

Basell also provides its customers with on-line order placement and tracking via its Basell Connect service. Customers can place orders 24 hours a day, track current order status and review their account balances and invoices.

A Basell spokesperson said that after cross checks, they found the information on ChemOrbis accurate. They need to know what their customers and competitors are thinking about the market through the market intelligence on ChemOrbis. They also note that Turkey is the largest export market for Europe, it is growing tremendously and European players should have a feel for Turkey and its influence on the European market. Basell is also interested in electronic trading and looks for ways to cooperate in that area to bring the advantages to all potential customers.

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