BASF TDI Update
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|BASF restarts TDI output, FM still in place at Ludwigshafen, Germany November 13/2020|
MOSCOW (MRC) — BASF has restarted toluene diisocyanate (TDI) production at its 300,000-metric ton/year plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, although output has not yet increased sufficiently for the company to lift a force majeure (FM) it declared in August, said Chemweek.
“BASF is in the process of starting up the TDI unit, [they] are currently producing but not yet at high enough levels to lift the force majeure,” says one market source close to the plant. “Downstream demand is good, and margins are strong, considering the fall in toluene contract price this month, hence [they] want to get up and running as soon as possible.”
The company declared FM on 31 August after experiencing technical problems, and has tried to restart the plant since then, until now unsuccessfully, sources say. “We expect BASF to resume healthy production by end of November,” says a second market source. “They are online now but are not producing official levels to be able to lift force majeure.”
The FM at Ludwigshafen has exacerbated tightness in the global TDI market, according to IHS Markit principal analyst James Elliott. BASF started operations at the Ludwigshafen TDI plant in November 2015, but has not been able to operate the site consistently at optimal rates due to production and technical issues that have caused delays and shutdowns, Elliott says. “The force majeure at our TDI plant in Ludwigshafen is still in place,” a BASF spokeswoman says.