BASF increases capacity for chemical intermediates
03/20/06, In the fourth quarter of 2006, BASF will raise the production capacity for two chemical intermediates, gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and N methylpyrrolidone (NMP), at its Ludwigshafen site. Once the appropriate measures have been completed, BASF will have the capacity to produce 70,000 metric tons of NMP and 85,000 metric tons of GBL each year. The company will also make sufficient N ethylpyrrolidone (NEP) capacity available to meet the rising demand for this product.
BASF had closed down two facilities at its Feluy, Belgium, site in 2005, an NMP plant (20,000 metric tons annual capacity) and a butanediol (BDO) derivatives plant (70,000 metric tons annual capacity). By the end of 2006, the global NMP capacity will be more or less back to the same level as before the Feluy plant closure. The measures announced will not affect BASF’s capacity for producing BDO derivatives.
NMP and NEP are highly efficient solvents used in the electronics and agro-chemical industries: They serve as paint removers and industrial cleaners, and as process solvents in various other industries. GBL is used mainly as a precursor for the production of NMP and NEP. BASF is the global leader for NMP with plants at its integrated ‘Verbund’ sites in Ludwigshafen/Germany, and Geismar/US.
The operating division Intermediates of the BASF Group develops, produces and markets the world’s largest range of intermediates. The most important of the division’s more than 600 products include amines, diols, polyalcohols and acids. Among other applications, intermediates are used as starting materials for coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textile fibers, detergents and crop protectants. Innovative BASF intermediates help to improve the properties of the final product and the efficiency of production processes. The ISO 9001:2000-certified operating division Intermediates has access to plants at production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. In 2005, this BASF operating division with 2,665 employees generated world sales of above 2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.basf.de/intermediates.
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