PLATTS - A merger between BASF's oil and gas unit Wintershall and DEA, agreed in September, is expected to conclude in 2019 with an eventual initial public offering set to take place in the second half of 2020, BASF CEO Martin Brudermuller said Friday.
The merger should create Eur200 million (about $227 million) per year in synergies, he added.
As a result of the merger, the subsidiary's operations would be classified as discontinued operations and not included in BASF's quarterly reporting he noted.
In September 27, 2018, BASF signed a transaction agreement with LetterOne to merge their respective oil and gas businesses, Wintershall and DEA, into a joint venture.
It will operate under the name Wintershall DEA. The merger will create the leading Germany-based independent company in the European oil and gas sector, with plans to increase its daily worldwide production from the current total of around 575,000 b/d of oil equivalent to 800,000 boe/d over the next three to five years. Around a quarter of the production would come from Norway.
In the electric power sector, BASF also elaborated Friday on plans to start up a new battery site for electric vehicles in Finland by late 2020.
The plant, at Harjavalta, will be able to supply batteries for 300,000 electric vehciles per year, with a deal signed with the nearby metal refinery owned by Nornickel, which will supply raw materials nickel and cobalt to the new plant, according to the company.
BASF has revised down its forecast for industrial production for the full year to 3.1% growth from 3.2% growth, amid a slowdown in the auto industry, which is a main consumer of its chemicals and other products.
"The introduction of new emission standards had an impact in Europe. The effects of the trade conflict between the United States and China are also showing. This is leading to a slowdown in economic growth in Asia in particular, mainly in China," the company noted.
Besides demand, supply from the Ludwigshafen chemical and manufacturing hub has been impacted in recent months due to record low levels of the river Rhine and the "severe" impact is seen continuing into next month, Brudermuller said.
"The cracker at Ludwigshafen is currently running at 60%," Brudermuller told analysts on a conference call Friday.
This decline would translate to lower energy demand in terms of gas and power into the affected plants.
Energy-industries represent around one fourth of Germany's final energy demand, according to industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie.
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