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BASF restarts TDI output, FM still in place at Ludwigshafen, Germany

November 13/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has restarted toluene diisocyanate (TDI) production at its 300,000-metric ton/year plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, although output has not yet increased sufficiently for the company to lift a force majeure (FM) it declared in August, said Chemweek.

"BASF is in the process of starting up the TDI unit, [they] are currently producing but not yet at high enough levels to lift the force majeure, says one market source close to the plant. Downstream demand is good, and margins are strong, considering the fall in toluene contract price this month, hence [they] want to get up and running as soon as possible."

The company declared FM on 31 August after experiencing technical problems, and has tried to restart the plant since then, until now unsuccessfully, sources say. We expect BASF to resume healthy production by end of November, says a second market source. They are online now but are not producing official levels to be able to lift force majeure."

The FM at Ludwigshafen has exacerbated tightness in the global TDI market, according to IHS Markit principal analyst James Elliott. BASF started operations at the Ludwigshafen TDI plant in November 2015, but has not been able to operate the site consistently at optimal rates due to production and technical issues that have caused delays and shutdowns, Elliott says. "The force majeure at our TDI plant in Ludwigshafen is still in place," a BASF spokeswoman says.

As MRC informed earlier, BASF had put a project to build a petrochemicals complex in India worth up to USD4 billion on hold due to the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We remind that Russia's output of chemical products rose in September 2020 by 6.7% year on year. At the same time, production of basic chemicals increased by 6.1% year on year in the first nine months of 2020, according to Rosstat's data. According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, polymers in primary form accounted for the greatest increase in the January-September output. Last month's production of primary polymers decreased to 852,000 tonnes from 888,000 tonnes in August due to shutdowns in Tomsk, Ufa and Kazan. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 7,480,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 16.4%  year on year.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, crude oil, neftegaz, petrochemistry, BASF.
Category:General News
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