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Have you heard of super-absorbent polymers or SAP for short? They ensure dry bottoms in baby nappies, among other things. BASF Antwerp is investing 25 million euros in a high-tech pilot installation to make SAP production more sustainable and digital. An investment in the future and an extra asset for the chemicals sector in Flanders. The test factory should be operational at the beginning of 2023.

Chemical company BASF is going to build a pilot installation in Antwerp to further optimise the production of super-absorbent polymers (SAP). This SAP ‘Excellence Centre’ is strongly committed to computerisation and will be equipped with data processing systems and advanced sensors to test new technologies in SAP production. This should ensure quality improvements and process optimisations for greater efficiency and sustainability.

Super-absorbent polymers are small granules that can absorb a multiple of their weight in moisture. They are used in baby nappies, incontinence pads and feminine hygiene items. BASF has a world-class modern SAP production facility in Antwerp. After the introduction of applied robotics for product analysis in the development labs, the ‘Excellence Centre’ is the next step in BASF’s digitisation journey.

Investments follow each other in rapid succession

This investment comes in addition to a previously announced new production complex for ethylene oxide and derivatives. That project represents an investment of more than half a billion euros and more than 100 new jobs.

The wide range of products that BASF will be producing in Antwerp as a result is mainly used in the automotive sector – for example in high-quality brake fluids, personal care and household products and all kinds of industrial applications.