HomeCincinnati NewsBASF expands Cincinnati plant to meet growing demand for eco-friendly products

BASF expands Cincinnati plant to meet growing demand for eco-friendly products

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Cincinnati, Ohio – The biggest chemical producer in the world is making its Cincinnati plant bigger because more people in North America want eco-friendly products.

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A part of BASF SE, a huge chemical company from Germany called Care Chemicals, is spending $70.5 million to add 20,000 square feet to its place on Este Avenue in St. Bernard.

Out of this, $45.8 million is for building the addition and $24.6 million is for buying new machines and equipment.

Working with a company named Alloy Development, they got a big tax break deal from the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners in March 2023. This deal gives them a 75% tax break for 10 years on the improvements they make to the property.

They plan to start using this new part of the plant by 2025.

They’re going to use the latest technology to make green, easily broken down surfactants called alkyl polyglucosides (APGs). These are made from plants and are used in things like makeup, cleaning products, industrial stuff, and farming.

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BASF is the only company making APGs in North America and also makes them in Dusseldorf, Germany, and Jinshan, China.

They said last June they’re making their plant bigger in Cincinnati and also in Bang Pakong, Thailand, to make more APGs.

The St. Bernard place not only makes APGs but also synthetic lubricants and car coolants in three factories. There’s also a place for packing things and an office building.

“The Cincinnati site is a strategic manufacturing site for BASF Care Chemicals, that continues to support our customers and is dedicated to providing the highest-quality ingredients that meet their needs,” Tasso Rigopoulos, BASF site director, said in a news release. “This expansion and investment demonstrate our commitment to our employees, our community and our presence in Ohio.”

BASF aims to not add any greenhouse gases to the air by 2050. Their plan for being more eco-friendly includes using renewable energy to make products, getting better at how they operate, and trying out new technologies.

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“With this additional capacity we stand ready to help customers reformulate and meet the increasing consumer and regulatory demand for more sustainable solutions across the Care Chemicals portfolio,” Marcelo Lu, senior vice president of Care Chemicals North America, said in the release.

Under the Enterprise Zone Agreement, BASF committed to raising its number of full-time employees from 31 to at least 40 and increasing its total wages from $3.1 million to at least $3.8 million.

In a meeting with the St. Bernard Village Council in November 2022, BASF Project Manager Mike Feldman said the expansion would actually lead to double the job increase initially mentioned, bringing the total local workforce, including contractors, to about 200, with wages increasing by $1.5 million.

A BASF representative informed the Business Courier on February 15 that the project would result in up to 13 new full-time jobs plus more contractor roles, on top of the nearly 100 full-time employees already working in St. Bernard.

In 2022, the company reported having a total of 180 employees in the region, which included people in sales, marketing, technical services, and contractors, with a total wage bill of $17 million.

BASF employs about 16,000 people in North America and over 111,000 globally. In 2022, the company’s revenue exceeded $87 billion.

The Cincinnati operation, which later became part of Care Chemicals, was established downtown in 1840 by Thomas Emery, an industrialist and property developer. Like Procter & Gamble, Emery’s business used animal fats from the city’s large meatpacking industry to make lamp oil and candles. The 1885 flood in downtown pushed the facility to St. Bernard, similar to P&G, and there the company expanded over the next hundred years.

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Thomas Emery’s family sold the business in 1975, and after several deals, BASF acquired it in 2010.

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