BASF said it will modernize and service its acetylene facility at the Ludwigshafen Verbund site. In the course of these efforts the company will also perform routine maintenance at its facility producing 1,4-butanediol (BDO), which is based on acetylene. BASF will make use of this period to upgrade its plant technology, thereby securing the long-term supply of raw materials to meet the growing demand for BDO and its derivatives. In 2012 alone, the company is investing more than 20 million euros for this purpose.
The activities will start at the end of August and are expected to last six weeks. BASF plans to bring both facilities back on stream in mid-October. The company said it will make sure that customers at the Ludwigshafen site and elsewhere will receive supplies as usual by building up stocks and by arranging product shipments from other BASF sites.
The acetylene plant is one of the key production facilities at the Ludwigshafen site. Acetylene is a starting material for BDO, an intermediate that serves as a precursor for many other intermediates, including tetrahydrofuran (THF), polytetrahydrofuran (PolyTHF), N-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). Acetylene derivatives are used, for example, to produce plastics, highly elastic textile fibers, solvents, and electronic chemicals.