BASF to build butadiene extraction plant in Belgium

BASF plans to build a new butadiene extraction plant at its Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium, the company said on Thursday.

The plant will have a production capacity of 155,000 tpy and is scheduled to start up during 2014.

The investment amount will be in the high double-digit million euro range, the company said.

The decision has been made in light of the increasingly tight supplies of butadiene on global markets.

In recent years, the volumes of butadiene available on the market have declined sharply. At the same time, demand from the tire industry and other industries has been rising.

This has led to a considerable increase in prices, according to the company.

“With the plant, we will secure our supply of butadiene at a competitive cost,” said Dr. Uwe Kirchgäßner, head of BASF’s regional basic petrochemicals business unit in Europe.

“Furthermore, we will take advantage of opportunities on the attractive external market and thereby contribute to our long-term economic success,” Kirchgäßner added.

The butadiene will be extracted from crude C4, a product from the steam cracker.

“This plant strengthens our Verbund production in Antwerp and is a very important investment at the site,” said Wouter de Geest, CEO of BASF Antwerpen NV.

“By improving the integration of the C4 value chain, we will also be able to reduce the need for logistics as well as traffic,” added de Geest. Through the investment about 15 to 20 jobs will be created.

In Europe, BASF already operates a butadiene extraction plant at its Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, with a production capacity of 105,000 tpy.

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