BASF plans German research lab for FCC catalysts, cites challenge of tight oil

BASF will start up a new fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts testing and research laboratory at the hte Aktiengesellschaft facility in Heidelberg, Germany, the company announced on Wednesday.

BASF described investment in the lab at "multi-million euro".

hte is a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF and a top provider of high-throughput technology and services for enhancing research and development productivity.

The new BASF laboratory will begin operating in the first half of 2014, and will be used for hydrocarbon and FCC equilibrium catalysts standard analysis and characterization, FCC catalysts process methodology testing and related research activities, providing quality data to BASF and its customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to the company.

“With the development of tight oil in the North American market, new opportunities and challenges are being faced by the industry which will require increased capabilities and service delivery from catalysts suppliers,” said Herbert Exner, BASF vice president for refinery catalysts and technologies.

“Through this investment, BASF is addressing this need, and taking an active role to fortify its position as the premier service provider to the refining market.”

The opening of the Heidelberg laboratory will also increase the service capabilities offered by BASF’s existing FCC catalysts laboratory in Iselin, New Jersey, and will enable the company to better serve customers across all regions of the world.

“We are proud that BASF’s catalysts team has decided to install this new laboratory at our Heidelberg site,” said Wolfram Stichert, CEO at hte. “We look forward to adding value to this operation by leveraging our extensive know-how in refinery catalysts testing and analysis.”

BASF is currently one of the top three producers of FCC catalysts worldwide. The company says it leads the market in the US.

“Our investment at hte goes beyond adding laboratory capacity and focuses on the development of world-class testing methodologies," said Vas Vergopoulos, BASF’s director of refining catalysts sales and technical services in Europe.

"This is another example of BASF's commitment to delivering cutting-edge technology and services to help drive our customers’ profitability and success.”

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