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  • 02 Nov 2020
  • ·
  • Technology

BASF and Cellnex will bring 5G technology to the Tarragona production centre

The pilot project will involve the roll-out of the first private network of these characteristics in a chemical plant in Spain

Barcelona, 2 November 2020. Chemicals company BASF and telecommunications infrastructure and services operator Cellnex Telecom have signed an alliance to install the first private network based on 5G technology in the Spanish chemical industry. The pilot project will also be one of the first in the Spanish industrial sector.

Cellnex will be responsible for installing and rolling out this 5G network in BASF’s production centre in La Canonja, Tarragona, and will serve as a base for developing various usage cases related to the industrial operations of the plant.

The fifth generation of mobile communications, better known as 5G, will increase data speed and transmission capacity by a factor of ten compared to 4G; it will cut latency —the time it takes to respond to a request— to one millisecond, a tenth of current levels; it will be highly available and reliable, allowing it to be used in critical applications; and it will make it possible to manage up to a million connected devices per square kilometre. In its industrial application, 5G will be a turning point, becoming the basis for the development of Industry 4.0 and IoT (the Internet of Things).

Overall, BASF has identified 5G as one of the key technologies for its digital transformation process. Although connectivity in industry has been a fact since the early 1990s, the leap into this new era will open the door to developing new applications in important fields such as security or operations. This technology will pave the way to the Internet of Things (IoT), the implementation of BigData, virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence. Tarragona will also become one of the first 5G projects launched by the German multinational globally. So far, only Germany, Belgium and China have started similar projects.

Benjamin Hepfer, director of the BASF production centre in Tarragona, underscored that “this project represents a turning point for the Tarragona production centre. With 5G technology, we will make a leap forward that will allow us to advance exponentially towards a new way of operating. This is a pioneering project in the entire chemicals industry.”

Carles Navarro, General Manager at BASF Española and responsible for the Group’s activities in the Iberian Peninsula, also stated that 5G is a disruptive change. “It will allow technologies like BigData or artificial intelligence to develop a potential that we could only imagine until now. That is why we are installing 5G networks at BASF. This, along with our Quriosity supercomputer —the fastest in the global chemical industry— will allow us to develop solutions that we could not even imagine before now,” stated Mr Navarro.

Albert Cuatrecasas, General Manager of Cellnex Spain, highlighted that “one of the key chemical industries in the country has entrusted the development of its private communications network to Cellnex. Thanks to our more than 20 years’ experience rolling out, operating and maintaining private networks for security and emergency bodies, and to the recent acquisition of Finnish company Edzcom, specialised in the development and implementation of private LTE networks that are key to the roll-out of 5G in critical business processes in industrial environments and complexes, we are working on the new generation of edge computing networks and connectivity solutions that will help to accelerate digitalisation and the development of Industry 4.0.”


BASF’s production centre in Tarragona

Located in the largest chemical complex in southern Europe, BASF Tarragona in La Canonja is one of the company’s main production centres. Covering an area of over 100 hectares, it houses four production plants operated by BASF, a joint venture with SONATRACH and five plants of third-party companies. The centre also has a tank park and a berth in the port of Tarragona.

To develop the pilot, Cellnex will work with Masmóvil for the temporary assignment of the spectrum band, with Nokia as a partner for the 5G network, and with Lenovo and Nearby Computing for the development of the Edge Computing solution that will allow autonomous computing of data on the premises – without the need to take them to the cloud – ensuring minimum latency and real-time management.


About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 117,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €59 billion in 2019. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at

About Cellnex Telecom

Cellnex Telecom is Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures with a portfolio of 61,000 sites including forecast roll-outs up to 2027. Cellnex operates in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Portugal.

Cellnex’s business is structured in four major areas: telecommunication infrastructures services; audiovisual broadcasting networks; security and emergency service networks and solutions for smart urban infrastructure and services management (Smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT)).

The company is listed on the continuous market of the Spanish stock exchange and is part of the selective IBEX 35 and EuroStoxx 600 indices. It is also part of the FTSE4GOOD and CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) and “Standard Ethics” sustainability indexes. Cellnex’s reference shareholders include Edizione, GIC, ADIA, CriteriaCaixa, Blackrock, Wellington Management Group and Canada Pension Plan.

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