During a festive event held at the BASF Feierabendhaus in Ludwigshafen (Germany), chemical giant BASF celebrated its 150th anniversary in style with such high-profile attendees as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer. The two politicians congratulated BASF on achieving this milestone in official speeches addressing an audience consisting of more than 1,000 guests from government, business, science and society.
"150 years is a special company anniversary, an opportunity to look back and reflect, but also to look forward," said Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE.
Over the past 150 years, BASF has grown from a company with 30 employees to become the world's leading chemical company with around 113,000 employees in 80 countries. "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," said Bock.
In a multimedia presentation shown on 15 large screens, the audience watched the history of the Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik unfold. Originally founded for the production of dyes, the young company later succeeded in discovering how to synthesize ammonia for industrial production, which paved the way for making fertilizer. Then, plastics were later added. Since then, BASF's portfolio has continuously developed and grown, ranging today from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection to oil and gas.
BASF's chairman thanked the company's customers, suppliers, service providers and partners, saying: "We are pleased that many of you are in attendance from all over the world. We have worked closely with you for decades, together we have grown, we have jointly pioneered new technologies and thus expanded into new markets."
The anniversary celebration was also attended by numerous BASF employees who had won a draw to attend the event, as well as by employees with birthdays on April 6, the day BASF was founded.
One highlight of the event was the premiere of the composition "Symphony No. 8: Water Dances," which Michael Nyman composed especially for BASF's anniversary. The English composer was inspired by typical company sounds, which BASF employees worldwide collected and submitted in 2014. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London, led by the Spanish conductor Josep Vicent, performed the symphonic work.
[Image: BASF SE]