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Q. What measures is BASF's petrochemicals business taking, or planning to take, to make its operations more sustainable?
A. In general BASF is looking at all possible measures to make its operations more sustainable, and it is active in numerous areas. With regard to petrochemicals, cutting emissions and feedstock consumption--as well as energy efficiency--are the focus, and measures are being taken. On top of this we are doing intensive research on renewable feedstocks and energy. Sustainability of our operations is a long-standing priority for us and the results show that this is a successful policy. We can see this also through the new European Union (EU) benchmarking of all petrochemical plants in Europe, in which each BASF petrochemical plant occupies one of the top positions.
Naturally further development and optimization will continue and the measures taken cover the construction of new plants as well as optimization of existing processes and plants. At the BASF petrochemicals business we are working with large volumes, so improvements that may seem small often achieve big results.
We aim to cut emissions by improving processes and through new equipment and machines. For example, we developed a new process for the production of plasticizers, which led to a significant reduction in wastewater. We installed a thermoreactor at our phthalic acid anhydride plant at Ludwigshafen, which resulted in a …