BASF, Hannong Plan Surfactants JV

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BASF and Hannong Chemicals have tentatively agreed to form a joint venture that would manufacture non-ionic surfactants in South Korea for metalworking fluids and other applications, the companies announced Thursday.

The partnership requires approvals of multiple authorities, and the companies said they both are working to obtain those now. BASF and Hannong, which is headquartered in Gunsan, South Korea, would own 51% and 49%, respectively, of the alliance, which would be named BASF Hannong Chemicals Solutions Ltd.

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Production would occur at Hannong’s existing Dae Juk factory, one of two that it operates in the Daesun Industrial Complex, in South Chungcheong province. The companies did not indicate whether they would install new facilities or if the joint venture would carry out production using existing equipment. They aim to establish the joint venture during the first quarter of next year.

Formulators use surfactants to emulsify oil and water in soluble oil and semi-synthetic metalworking fluids, where they help the fluids mix by reducing surface tension between them. Non-ionic surfactants are also used as detergents in a wide variety of applications.

BASF and Hannong each produce ranges of non-ionic surfactants used in metalworking fluids and lubricants, as well as laundry and dishwasher detergents, leather and textile treatments and metal surface cleaning. A BASF spokesperson said the joint venture will produce products for the full range of applications. The companies said they are forming the joint venture to meet growing demand for non-ionic surfactants. Officials said the alliance will combine BASF’s strong technology and product innovation capabilities with Hannong’s highly efficient production capabilities.