Chemical producer BASF has opened a regional office in Lagos to serve customers in Nigeria and other West African countries.
“Africa is a huge continent with a wealth of raw materials and a growing population. At the same time, the dynamically growing economy has enormous potential for BASF,” says BASF Europe, Middle East and Africa president Jacques Delmoitiez.
“Through establishing a local presence in Nigeria, we will be able to much better understand our customers’ needs and enhance BASF’s market position.”
The company’s target is to more than double sales in Africa by 2020. Its sales, excluding oil and gas, were around €1-billion in 2011.
One of the key markets for BASF in Nigeria is the booming construction sector.
BASF offers polyurethane products such as foam for insulated panels. The company also supplies admixtures for the ready-mix concrete industry, as well as protective coatings, waterproofing solutions and joint sealants, among others.
Apart from the construction sector, BASF will also target the nutrition, pharma and home care markets in Nigeria and West Africa. BASF is, for example, engaged in food fortification of staple foods, such as cooking oil and flour, through local partners in Nigeria.
To kickstart its business in Nigeria, the company is providing 20 000 BASF Interceptor mosquito nets to Rotary International Nigeria for charity distribution, says Delmoitiez.
Interceptor is a mosquito net which demonstrates a fusion of BASF’s expertise in textile development and insect control, he explains.
A polymer binder system is combined with an insecticide, and applied directly to the fibers of the nets. A controlled release of the insecticide ensures long-term effectiveness, and that the net still delivers its protection after 20 washes.
The BASF group has been active in Africa for about 90 years. The group currently has more than 1 000 employees in Africa (excluding the oil and gas business).
In North Africa, the company is represented in Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
BASF has been doing business in South Africa for more than 45 years. Headquartered in Johannesburg, the group consists of six companies, including an automotive emission catalysts production site, in Port Elizabeth. BASF also has production facilities for construction chemicals, coil coatings and polyurethane plastics. A production site for dispersions is currently under construction and will be completed in the second half of 2012.
A regional BASF sales hub for East Africa was established in Kenya last year.
BASF has additional sub-Saharan representative offices in Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia and Zambia.