BASF, which has been present in the Middle East for more than 40 years, has left its mark on almost every major project in the region, said Julian Pritchard, the general manager of BASF Construction Chemicals in the UAE.
Today, the Ludwigshafen-headquartered BASF continues to be an undisputed leader in the supply of construction chemicals and a showcase for German technology in the Gulf, he added.
Tracing the growth of the chemical major’s business in the region, he said: “A decade ago, BASF acquired Degussa, and hence its Construction Chemicals Division was represented in this region. Construction Chemicals is one of its biggest business units in this part of the world, but is only a small section of the global company, which delivers chemical solutions to almost every industry.”
BASF’s Construction Chemicals division offers advanced solutions for new construction, maintenance, repair and renovation of structures. Its comprehensive portfolio encompasses concrete admixtures, cement additives, chemical solutions for underground construction, waterproofing systems, sealants, adhesives, concrete repair and protection systems, performance grouts, performance flooring systems, tile fixing systems, and expansion control systems.
“Most of these technologies have been shaping the Middle East for over 35 years,” he continued. “With its headquarters in the UAE, and with other offices, production sites, and representatives spread across Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Bahrain and Egypt, BASF is an undeniable leader in the supply of construction materials.”
BASF combines its know-how across areas of expertise and regions, and draws on experience gained in countless construction projects worldwide, to solve specific construction challenges. This support starts from conception with specification recommendations, through to completion of a project, including expert technical support.
The products, technologies and solutions by Master Builders Solutions, BASF’s three-year-old brand for the construction industry, maximise productivity, durability and longevity and therefore sustainability in projects. Leveraging the technologies and know-how available across BASF’s global research and development (R&D) network, its innovations address the current and emerging market needs. These are later customised to each region’s conditions and expectations.
Pritchard highlighted Master Builders Solutions’ new chemically enhanced synthetic macrofibres for concrete as a good example of this global expertise. “These fibres provide post-crack performance equal to that obtained with typical, commercially available synthetic macrofibres at a reduced dosage, and they can eliminate the need for welded wire reinforcement and conventional steel bars as secondary reinforcement.”
BASF’s principal solutions for concrete, however, are its admixtures. “These played a crucial role during the construction of the Burj Khalifa, in which concrete could be pumped to world record heights of 600 m. This success resulted in the choice of MasterGlenium Sky admixtures for the construction of Kingdom Tower in Jeddah,” he pointed out.
With other construction solutions, BASF has also made significant contributions to other projects in the Gulf. These include the first 3D printed office in the world (the temporary office of the Museum of the Future in Dubai), Dubai Airport, the Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi, new cultural centres in Kuwait and Makkah, Pritchard says, adding that almost every iconic and major project in the Middle East region has been
built with the help of BASF’s German technologies.