Many consumers are familiar with BASF Corporation’s popular slogan: "We don’t make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy better.®" That statement can well be applied to the BASF site in Geismar. Chemical products manufactured at Geismar go into hundreds of everyday items that make life better for people in Ascension Parish and around the world.
The Geismar plant began operations in 1958. At that time only two chemicals were produced. Over the past 40 years the Geismar site has undergone numerous expansions. With more than 1,700 employees (including contractors), the BASF Geismar site is now among the largest employers in Louisiana and is BASF Corporation’s largest manufacturing facility. The site is located on 2,640 acres of which only 420 acres are developed.
The BASF Geismar site concentrates mainly on producing a wide range of industrial chemicals that are used as catalysts and intermediates for the manufacture of hundreds of everyday consumer items. There are 15 manufacturing units located within six manufacturing groups at the Geismar site.
Some of the chemicals manufactured at BASF are used by neighboring industrial plants to make their own products. BASF also purchases chemicals from neighboring plants for use at the Geismar site. Examples of a few of the chemical products made at the BASF Geismar site include:
- Amines are used in a multitude of applications, including production of agricultural chemicals, corrosion inhibitors in water treatment, rubber tires and shampoos;
- Butanediol (BDO) is used to produce polyurethanes and engineering plastics, as well as fibers, plant protection products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, coatings for floor coverings, roller-skate wheels and roofing materials. Other applications for these versatile products include specialty solvents that are used in computer chip and paper production, plastics recycling, industrial cleaning and as paint strippers;
- Ethylene Oxide/Ethylene Glycol (EO/EG) are used in the production of antifreeze, plastic bottles, polyester fibers, foams and in medical sterilization products. They are also used to make surfactants, which are key ingredients found in soaps and laundry detergent, as well as in toothpaste and mouthwashes;
- Polyol is used in the production of foams for cushions in furniture and in automobile urethane components;
- Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) is a building-block chemical used in production of urethane foam products and coatings. Common products made from TDI include foam for furniture and bedding, floor and wood finishes and paint; and,
- Methylene Diphenylisocyanate (MDI) is used in the production of refrigerator and freezer insulation, simulated wood furniture panels, vehicle seats and home insulation.
The BASF Geismar site is in the midst of a series of expansion projects that will cost about $1 billion, create hundreds of new jobs and increase tax revenues to Ascension Parish. The Geismar site is part of BASF Corporation, which is among the top producers of chemicals in the United States. BASF Corporation is the North American member of the worldwide BASF Group. BASF’s Geismar site has made quality products that have enriched our lives for over 40 years, and the planned expansions will help ensure that the tradition continues.
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