BASF celebrate 150 year anniversary in chemical sector

German chemical company BASF celebrated its 150th anniversary with a special celebration last week.

The company looked back at its 150-year history at an event held at the Feierabendhaus der BASF in the German town of Ludwigshafen, south of Frankfurt.

During her speech in the BASF Feierabendhaus, Dr Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, congratulatef BASF on its 150th anniversary - image courtesy of BASF.
During her speech in the BASF Feierabendhaus, Dr Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, congratulatef BASF on its 150th anniversary – image courtesy of BASF.

The recent 150th anniversary celebration (see video) featured speeches by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate Malu Dreyer and looked at how the company has grown from 30 employees to become the world’s leading  chemical company with 113,000 employees in 80 countries.

A highlight of the event was the premiere of the composition ‘Symphony No.8:  Water Dances’, which British composer Michael Nyman composed especially for BASF’s anniversary.

The performance was inspired by typical company sounds which BASF employees collected and submitted throughout last year, with the symphonic work performed by London’s  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The symphony was performed in front of an audience of more than 1,000 guests who attended the event.

Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF, Dr Kurt Bock, said the event was look to look back on the progress the company had made after building on the work of its predecessors.

“150 years is a special company anniversary, an opportunity to look back and reflect, but also to look forward,” he said.

“We create chemistry – yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our success today is due in part to the fact that the right course was set years ago. Especially in chemistry, we are constantly building on the achievements of our predecessors.”

The anniversary event also featured five scientists who talked about current research projects at BASF, with the talks moderated by presenter Barbara Hahlweg for German television.

BASF first began producing dyes in the early stages of its history, with the industrial production of ammonia for fertilizer achieved a few years later.

Plastics were then added to their production and the company’s portfolio now also includes performance products, crop protection products and oil and gas derivatives.