BASF Expanding Geismar Plant's Production Capacity

GEISMAR, LA (AP) — BASF is expanding production at its Geismar plant for a product used in making plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers.

         The Advocate reports the project will increase production of a chemical intermediate called 1,4-butanediol by 10 percent in 2016, lifting the company's global capacity of BDOs to 670,000 metric tons per year.

         A project cost was not disclosed.

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         BASF said it also will examine other measures to strengthen and expand BDO at the Geismar site. BASF said it continuously implements ways to boost efficiency and improve infrastructure at all of its sites.

         Stefan Blank, president of BASF's intermediates division, attributed the Geismar BDO expansion to steadily growing customer demand.

         Besides its Geismar site, BASF is producing BDO at its sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Kuantan, Malaysia; Caojing, China and Chiba, Japan. A new BDO site, a joint venture of BASF and the Chinese company Xinjiang Markor, is expected to begin production of 100,000 metric tons annually this year.

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         Depending on the production technology, the starting materials for the production of conventional BDO are natural gas, coal, butane, butadiene and propylene.

         The BASF Group's Intermediates division develops, produces and markets a portfolio of about 700 intermediates. Intermediates are used, for example, as starting materials for coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textiles, detergents and crop protectants.

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