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Neochim to produce biodiesel at BASF site in Feluy


Benefits of the Verbund concept

* Waste heat used, jobs maintained, cost structure improved

Starting in fall 2006, Neochim S.A. will produce biodiesel in a new plant at BASF’s Feluy site in Belgium, using steam from the waste heat generated by the production of maleic anhydride (MA), a chemical intermediate. Neochim will also use other infrastructure facilities of the site and purchase services from BASF. The companies recently agreed on this in a memorandum of understanding. Neochim has been making glycerine at Feluy since 1996, a process for which it also uses BASF’s MA production waste heat, infrastructure facilities and services.

This step allows BASF to hold on to 17 employees who would otherwise not have had any professional future with the company after the site restructuring decision taken in 2005. Moreover, the use of the waste heat generated by the MA production and the sale of BASF services will sustainably improve the cost structure of the Feluy site.

“After several years of production on the Feluy site as BASF’s partner, Neochim has decided, thanks also to the help and the support of BASF, to build a biodiesel factory”, said Giorgio Spinelli Responsible Neochim Site Feluy. He continues: “This is based on an existing plant modified using the best of modern technologies. The biodiesel production plant is particularly well situated in Feluy, and takes advantage of the available synergies with BASF and of the presence on the same site of our glycerine refining unit.”

BASF in Feluy with modern MA production

At the Feluy site, BASF makes MA in one of the world’s most modern plants of this type, which has an annual capacity of 115,000 metric tons, using butane as a raw material. The distillation capacity at present is 100,000 metric tons and can be easily adjusted in case of need. The plant ships the intermediate to all parts of the world, but mostly to European customers.

Maleic anhydride serves mainly as a building block to produce unsaturated polyester resins. These resins are widely used in the form of composite materials, above all in the shipbuilding, construction and automobile industries. Parts made of these resins stand out for their high strength and particularly light weight. Maleic anhydride is used for many other applications, too, and notably for producing water-soluble polymers and lubricants.


Neochim S.A. is a company founded in 1995 with the specific purpose of refining crude glycerine from biodiesel production and from other natural sources to produce the highest quality of Kosher grade natural refined glycerine, a non-hazardous manufactured chemical which has very important applications in many fields ranging from pharmaceuticals and cosmetics to surface coating resins and adhesives. Neochim’s production unit is located in Belgium at Feluy, about 35 kilometers south of Brussels, on the site of BASF.

Neochim is supported by SPIGA NORD’s expertise in processing crude glycerine and also SPIGA’s marketing experience in Europe and in the rest of the world.

SPIGA NORD S.p.A., the mother company of Neochim, was established in 1957 in Genoa, specializing in the production of natural refined glycerine. Since then, SPIGA NORD has devoted all its efforts to continual technology improvements, to develop high precision equipment for laboratory tests and to study its product in all aspects related to consumers’ requirements. The success of these efforts encouraged SPIGA to create Neochim in Belgium and to build one of the most technologically advanced plants for the refining of natural crude glycerine.

SPIGA and Neochim’s total annual capacity amounts to about 25000 metric tons of refined natural glycerine; SPIGA’s activity extends also to the manufacture of glycerine derivatives.


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


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