The Urethane Blog

BASF Force Majeure on BDO

BASF declares force majeure on 1,4-Butanediol and derivatives in North America

FLORHAM PARK, NJ, January 24, 2018 – BASF has declared force majeure in North America on 1,4-Butanediol (BDO) and its derivatives following two separate events during the week of January 14, 2018, that impacted production at its Geismar, Louisiana, manufacturing facility.

On Sunday, January 14, a natural gas fire between International-Matex Tank Terminal (IMTT) and BASF’s Geismar, Louisiana, manufacturing facility damaged a natural gas pipeline. The fire was extinguished and there were no reported injuries associated with this event; however, the fire shut down BASF’s operations at the Geismar site. BASF uses natural gas, via pipeline, as a feedstock and as a raw material for chemical production at Geismar.

In a separate and unrelated event to the natural gas fire, beginning Tuesday, January 16, the southern Louisiana area experienced record low temperatures for several consecutive days, along with rain, sleet and snow. These extreme weather conditions caused BASF to shut down our plant operations at Geismar for operational and safety reasons.

Specific products impacted include: 1,4-Butanediol (BDO), Tetrahydrofuran (THF), Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), Polytetramethylene ether glycol (PolyTHF®), 2-pyrrolidone (2P) and N-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP).

BASF estimates the force majeure will last through the first quarter of 2018. The company informed affected customers and is working to minimize disruptions. We will continue to update customers regarding supply capability over the next few weeks.

BDO and its derivatives are used for producing engineering plastics, polyurethanes, solvents and elastic spandex fibers.