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BASF to Enhance Global Production Capacities for BDO and PolyTHF®

Published on 2013-07-10. Author : SpecialChem

BASF will increase its global capacities for producing the chemical intermediate 1,4 butanediol (BDO) and the BDO derivative PolyTHF® (chemical name: polytetramethylene ether glycol, PTMEG) within the coming two years. BASF's annual BDO capacity will rise from 535,000 to 650,000 metric tons, its annual PolyTHF capacity from 250,000 to 350,000 metric tons. With respect to PolyTHF, BASF had already announced a capacity increase from 185,000 to 250,000 metric tons per year in August 2012.

The company continuously expands its production capacities by implementing measures to boost efficiency and improve its infrastructure. These measures include, in particular, investments in the double-digit million euro range to increase capacity for BDO operations at BASF's Geismar, Louisiana, site, and for PolyTHF operations at the Caojing, China, site.

Part of the announced capacity increase will be a BDO and a PolyTHF plant located at Korla, China. As recently announced these plants will be built by two joint venture companies established by BASF and Xinjiang Markor Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. The plants will be capable of manufacturing annually 100,000 metric tons of BDO and 50,000 metric tons of PolyTHF. They are expected to begin operations in 2015. The companies intend to supply these high-quality products to their customers in the Chinese market.

"By expanding our global BDO and PolyTHF capacities, we are moving in line with the steadily growing market and continually rising demand of our customers. The demand for BDO and PolyTHF has increased notably in the Americas. Our measures will enable us to continue meeting this demand reliably out of our local assets in Geismar," said Sanjeev Gandhi, President, BASF Intermediates division, and added: "In the Asia Pacific region, the markets for PolyTHF continue to grow, and so do our customers. We are taking these measures to support our partners in their growth and accompany them as a reliable local manufacturer and supplier in the future too."

BDO and its derivatives are used for producing plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers. The starting materials for the production of conventional BDO are natural gas, butane, butadiene and propylene.

For 70 years, BASF has been manufacturing BDO at its Ludwigshafen, Germany, Verbund site by means of the Reppe process. This acetylene-based process, which is named after its inventor Walter Reppe, a chemist with BASF, features higher efficiency than any other process. Other BASF sites producing BDO and BDO derivatives are Geismar, Louisiana; Chiba, Japan; Kuantan, Malaysia; Caojing, China and Ulsan, Korea.

It was 30 years ago that BASF produced PolyTHF for the first time at its Ludwigshafen Verbund site. Today, four PolyTHF production facilities make BASF the world's most important and only global supplier of PolyTHF.

About BASF Intermediates

The BASF Group's Intermediates division develops, produces and markets a comprehensive portfolio of more than 600 intermediates around the world. The most important of the division's product groups include amines, diols, polyalcohols, acids and specialties. Among other applications, intermediates are used as starting materials for coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textile fibers, detergents and crop protectants. Innovative intermediates from BASF help to improve the properties of final products and the efficiency of production processes. The ISO 9001 certified Intermediates division operates plants at production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Around the globe the division generated sales to third parties of about €2.9 billion in 2012.

About BASF

BASF is one of the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. It combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, it enables its customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. The products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. BASF had sales of €72.1 billion in 2012 and more than 110,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN).

Source: BASF


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