BASF’s Ludwigshafen TDI plant to Partially Restart

16.02.2017 -

BASF’s troubled 300,000 t/y TDI plant at Ludwigshafen, Germany, will remain offline for a few more weeks before being partially restarted and operated at a reduced capacity, the group said on Feb. 15. The massive plant, which initially went online in the third quarter of 2015, had to be taken off stream at the end of 2016 due to a technical defect.

Repairs to the isocyanates complex that consists of eight separate plants, producing precursors for TDI among other things, are proceeding on schedule, according to BASF.  In the impacted part of the plant, it said the damaged reactor is foreseen to be temporarily replaced by a backup reactor. In the transition period before full run is expected to begin, planned shutdowns will take place.

Parallel to production with the backup reactor, the damaged unit will be repaired and a new one be ordered. Due to the long delivery time for the new reactor, however, BASF said final repairs could take until in 2018. After which the production facility will have to be inspected again by technical and safety authorities.

Until production at Ludwigshafen recommences, BASF said its TDI customers will be supplied through the group’s global production network. The polyurethane feedstock meanwhile remains tight in Europe.