BASF plans early-March maintenance at Ludwigshafen TDI plant
2021-01-25    []

MOSCOW (MRC) — BASF is planning to carry out maintenance work early in March at its 300,000-metric tons/year toluene diisocyanate (TDI) plant at Ludwigshafen, Germany, market sources have told OPIS, said Chemweek.

“The facility is expected to be in planned turnaround from early March until the end of May, but we don’t know the exact dates of the turnaround,” a source said. BASF declined to comment. “We do not comment on plant maintenance or run rates,” a company spokesperson said.

Another source speculated that TDI production might start to slow from the site from the end of February in preparation for the turnaround. This will result in lower toluene consumption than in recent months, according to Eleanor Dann, principal toluene analyst at IHS Markit.

“Whilst the turnaround for TDI production will reduce consumption of TDI-grade toluene, this will not necessarily result in an additional 10,000-15,000 metric tons of length for the toluene market as supply is likely to be adjusted in knowledge of the outage,” said Dann.

BASF had declared force majeure on 31 August 2020 after experiencing technical problems. After several attempted restarts, it lifted the force majeure at its TDI plant on 30 November, a company spokesperson confirmed.

As MRC informed earlier, BASF says its 420,000-metric ton/year steam cracker in Ludwigshafen, Germany is continuously running and has not caused any interruption of supply to its customers. Earlier, several media outlets reported that unscheduled flaring started on 13 January at the northern part of the Ludwigshafen site and was expected to last until 17 January and that an unspecified unit was shut, which “was not the case”, as per the company’s letter received by MRC.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

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