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BASF Awards 2008: recognition for entrepreneurship and innovation goes to four project teams


* The Innovation Award honors three professionally implemented projects this year: an innovative production process for the highly purified methane sulfonic acid Lutropur® MSA, a concept for more efficient cross country supervision of natural gas production platforms and an ecoefficient acrylic acid purification process

* The Business Excellence Award goes to a successful marketing and distribution concept for modern crop protection compounds

The winning teams of the BASF Awards 2008 have been announced: Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, and Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, Member of the Board of Executive Directors and Research Executive Director, have presented the coveted awards during an expert conference of BASF executive managers in Mannheim this week.

The Innovation Award 2008 honors three projects in equal parts: an innovative production process for the highly purified methane sulfonic acid Lutropur® MSA, a concept for more efficient cross country supervision of natural gas production platforms and an ecoefficient acrylic acid purification process.

The Business Excellence Award 2008 goes to the successful marketing and distribution concept „Plant health“.

The two awards are each worth €50,000 in prize money and go to all team members collectively. The BASF Board of Executive Directors pays tribute every year to the best teams in each category who succeeded in combining pioneership, passion and professionalism to perform outstanding services. “With the BASF Awards, we honor employees who advance excellent entrepreneurship and innovations at BASF,” said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer at the award ceremony.
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Innovation Award: recognition for three winning projects

Lutropur® MSA – innovative production process for highly purified methane sulfonic acid

Methane sulfonic acid is a versatile compound in its various guises, for example as a cleaning agent, battery fluid, or starting material for pharmaceutical products. The winning project team developed an innovative production process which now allows the highly purified methane sulfonic acid Lutropur® MSA from BASF to be manufactured for the first time with no traces of chlorine or other substances. With the new method, the team achieved an optimum integration in the BASF Verbund, a product quality superior to anything competitors can offer, full capacity exploitation and entered new markets. A major criterion for the success of the new method was optimum utilization of the Verbund at the Ludwigshafen site, with an exchange of personnel, raw materials, energy, and waste flows between neighboring plants. Furthermore, in the Verbund, a range of specialists from diverse BASF disciplines builds a strong network of expert knowledge.

Fueling hope: more efficient North Sea natural gas platform operations

Wintershall Noordzee B.V. specialists put all their expertise to work in creating a new concept for more efficient cross country supervision of production platforms in the southern North Sea. Their Remote Control Operations (RCO) concept enables all supervision tasks to be performed easily from land via radio surveillance and control system. Shut downs, start ups and production adjustments are all monitored and controlled from one central control room. The response time in respect to deviations from the normal productions process is markedly reduced. This is accompanied by enormous benefits related to health, safety and environmental protection provided by heavily reduced helicopter logistics. The command center in Den Helder, the Netherlands – the world’s most modern platform control center operational since mid-2007 – controls 18 platforms in the southern North Sea as well as offshore pipelines. The system has the capacity to supervise many more gas platforms in future.

Leap in technology: a new acrylic acid purification process

The project team ventured into uncharted terrain in developing the new process, in fact toppling established opinion by obtaining high-purity acrylic acid through crystallization. BASF is now the only acrylic acid manufacturer to synthesize pure acrylic acid in a direct process chain.
The new process is notably efficient and environmentally friendly, because the acrylic acid is obtained in high-purity through crystallization at lower temperatures. Due to minimized cleaning requirements, the consumption of water and energy is also being reduced in the production process. Acrylic acid is the basis for one of BASF’s most important value chains. The new process secures BASF market leadership in this segment. Acrylic acid in polyacrylate form is a starting material for diaper superabsorbents and glues and paints for arts and crafts.

Business Excellence Award: Healthier Crops, better harvest

This year, the award honors a successful marketing and distribution concept featuring the F 500®-based BASF fungicides Headline® in the U.S. and Opera® in Brazil. Opera is marketed under the AgCelenceTM umbrella brand in Latin America. Thereby, an international BASF Crop Protection team positioned BASF as the leader of the new market for plant health products.

Fungicides based on the agent F500® not only protect crops against fungal disease, but also strengthen crops by stimulating their metabolism and ability to cope with stress in general. The plants thereby develop a higher resistance to drought, heat and other environmental stress. This improves quality and raises harvest yields: Soybean and corn yields rise 10 percent, the sunflower oil content is five percent higher. For farmers, it’s equivalent to doubling their return of investment.

Note for editors:
Pictures of the award-topics and the winner teams may be requested.

About BASF
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from oil and gas to chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals. As a reliable partner BASF helps its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF has more than 95,000 employees and posted sales of almost €58 billion in 2007. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at


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