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BASF announces FM on some C2, C3 and naphtha purchases from Ludwigshafen

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team - content@chemorbis.com
  • 20/10/2016 (15:34)
According to market sources, BASF has declared a force majeure on purchases of some ethylene, propylene and naphtha supply from its Ludwigshafen complex in Germany following an explosion and fire at the company’s harbour which occurred on October 17. The closure of the harbour is affecting supplies into and out of the site, which is the reason for the force majeure on logistics from the complex. This also caused the company to shut two crackers and around 20 other plants were affected.

The fire has affected its ethylene and propylene pipelines, according to the company. It is stated that the fire broke out in the course of performing work on a pipeline, but the exact cause is unknown yet. The company said it is unable to consume propylene from the MIRO refinery since it cannot receive propylene through that pipeline. In addition, the Ethylene Pipeline Sud (EPS) which transports ethylene was affected and force majeure was declared.

The company has shut its two steam crackers with a combined capacity of 620,000 tons/year of ethylene (400,000 tons/year and 220,000 tons/year each). According to market sources, the crackers were not directly affected, but they were closed due to the company’s inability to receive feedstock deliveries and force majeure was declared on naphtha supplies.

As of Thursday, the company reportedly planned to gradually restart its steam crackers in the next few days due to preparing an alternative naphtha supply.

According to the company’s website, the steam crackers are able to consume around 2 million tons/year of naphtha.

Meanwhile, sources also reported that BASF, which is able to produce 550,000 tons/year of styrene and 190,000 tons/year of PS, halted production of styrene and polystyrene at its Ludwigshafen complex. However, the company stated that they have not announced force majeure on styrene and PS supplies are ready to restart when the upstream units resume production.

According to the statement made by the company, they will also restart most of the plants within the next days.
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