MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has suffered a
further setback at its Ludwigshafen plant which makes materials for soft foams
used in mattresses and car seats, saying a technical defect in a new reactor
would reduce output into next year, said Reuters.
downtimes often raise global prices of the material, known as TDI, and BASF's
glitch might give a boost to competitors such as Bayer's Covestro, Wanhua,
Mitsui and Dow Chemical.
With 780,000 t in annual capacity of TDI, BASF
is the largest supplier in the market. BASF has spent more than USD1.1 billion
on the Ludwigshafen complex, or roughly 20 percent of its annual investment
budget for plant and equipment.
The German chemicals group had to stop
production at the 300,000-tpy complex at the end of November 2016 because of a
Production with a smaller backup reactor will be restarted
at reduced rates in the next few weeks, BASF said on Wednesday, followed by
intermittent shutdowns, but it will take until some time next year for the
replacement reactor to be delivered and fully ramped up.
its part, had to reduce output of precursor chemicals for both rigid and soft
foams for almost three months late last year due to a supplier's
In a statement BASF said: "Due to the long delivery time for the
new reactor, BASF expects the final repair work to be completed in 2018. The
supply to customers is secured via BASF's global TDI production
Due to unforeseen complexities, BASF had previously been
struggling to fully ramp up production at the TDI facility at Ludwigshafen,
which was inaugurated in November 2015.
BASF is the world’s leading
chemical company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance
products and crop protection products to oil and gas.