BASF aims for mid-March Ludwigsafen styrene restart

24 February 2006 16:24  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--BASF’s 510,000 tonne/year styrene plant in Ludwigshafen, which has been closed since the end of 2005, is expected to be back on-stream by the middle of March, a company spokeswoman said on Friday.

The unit was taken off line because of a serious technical defect and not voluntarily, she said. 

On Wednesday (22 February), chief executive Jürgen Hambrecht indicated that BASF had not re-started its Ludwigshafen styrene plant due to market overcapacity. “We first want to stabilise the market with this move," he said at the chemical giant's annual news conference following the release of its 2005 financial results.

BASF said in its fourth quarter and full year financial report that the temporary shutdown of the Ludwigshafen styrene plant would have a negative impact on business in the first quarter of 2006.

Fourth quarter 2005 styrenics sales were 9.5% lower than in the corresponding period of 2004 at Euro1.12bn ($1.34bn). Styrenics operating profits for the quarter decreased, BASF said, because of lower sales prices and seasonal shutdowns.

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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