Steel manufacturer NLMK from the Russian city of Lipetsk and BASF Coatings from Muenster-Hiltrup are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their strategic partnership in coil coatings.
NLMK is one of BASF Coatings’ most important customers in Russia for industrial coatings.
“BASF Coatings is one of NLMK’s few strategic partners and as one of the world’s leading suppliers of industrial coatings, it guarantees top quality,” said Yuri Larin, vice president of technology at NLMK, at a ceremony with BASF representatives.
BASF Coatings’ new head of industrial coatings Europe, Francisco Carlos Verza, visited the customer in Lipetsk for the first time and underlined the importance of the customer.
“We would like to further strengthen and expand our successful collaboration with NLMK in the coming years,” said Verza.
There will be a number of important major events in the upcoming years.
“In particular, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the Soccer World Cup in Russia four years later will require a number of additional infrastructure measures in the building sector,” said Uwe Pelchen, BASF Coatings’ sales manager for coil coatings in Europe. “This will provide excellent opportunities to use the new coil coating products we have jointly developed.”
The partnership has been in place since November 1991. Back then, a BASF delegation visited NLMK in Lipetsk for the first time and signed a supply agreement for coil coatings. A new five-year agreement was signed in 1999 and the partnership has continued.
“We value BASF as a reliable partner who supports us with innovative coil coatings solutions in our markets,” said Valery Rogachov, head of coil coatings technology at NLMK.
Several milestones mark the ongoing development. In 2001, the first Pevicoat plant in Russia was put into operation. This paint factory features a computer-assisted mixing system that can mix any color and gloss level within a very short time and supply the exact quantity of precisely reproducible material down to the gram said BASF. This allows the coaters to respond to customer requests quickly and flexibly and cut costs at the same time.
In 2004 and 2010, two more coil coating plants followed at NLMK. With a total of three coating plants, the Russian steel manufacturer now has a total annual capacity of approximately 580,000 tons of steel that can be refined with the coil coating process. In 2010, another Pevicoat plant was put into operation in Samara. This allows BASF Coatings to supply NLMK with the entire coatings system, from universal primer to topcoats.
The new plants are not the only way BASF and NLMK have joined in close cooperation. NLMK was one of BASF’s first customers to launch the new topcoat portfolio Polyceram Plus back in 2009.The advantage is that the new products feature substantially improved weathering behavior and stand out for their robustness and flexibility, even under adverse application conditions said BASF. With precisely formulated pigment pastes, it is possible to produce nearly any color and gloss level using Polyceram Plus, which is available on a polyester or polyurethane basis.