MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF says it is restarting one of its steam crackers at its Ludwigshafen complex in Germany after operations were halted on Wednesday due to a technical issue, reported Chemweek with reference to a company spokesperson's statement.
“The affected cracker is in the process of restarting,” the spokesperson says. “I can’t give you any further details on the technical defect or which of our crackers is affected.” Operations were interrupted at around 8am on Wednesday morning, according to BASF. “There is currently visible fire and soot formation. Flaring is expected to continue until tomorrow. The responsible authorities have been informed,” it further stated in a social media post.
The naphtha cracker produces ethylene and propylene, and is one of two crackers on the site. One has a production capacity of 420,000 metric tons/year, with the other’s capacity at 240,000 metric tons/year, according to IHS Markit data.
BASF shut down an undisclosed part of its chemical complex at Ludwigshafen on 15 January, also due to a technical fault, it said last month.
OPIS is an IHS Markit company.
As MRC informed earlier, BASF has restarted its No. 1 steam cracker following a maintenance turnaround. Thus, the company resumed operations at the plant on September 30, 2019. The plant was shut for maintenance in mid-August, 2019. Located at Ludwigshafen in Germany, the No. 1 cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 235,000 mt/year and a propylene production capacity of 125,000 mt/year.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,220,640 tonnes in 2020, up by 2% year on year. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market reached 1 240,000 tonnes in 2020 (calculated using the formula: production, minus exports, plus imports, excluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020).
BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.