Germany state court halts work on major ethylene pipeline project

21 April 2011 21:22  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--A court in Stuttgart, Germany, on Thursday ordered that construction work on a major ethylene pipeline project be halted at a stretch in Baden-Wurttemberg state because of safety concerns.

The 360km project – Ethylen Pipeline Sud - would connect BASF’s petrochemicals hub in Ludwigshafen with chemical sites in Bavaria. The long-delayed pipeline was supposed to finally begin operations in September or October this year.

However, the administrative court in Stuttgart sided with four plaintiffs who want the project to be stopped because of potential safety concerns.

The court said planning authorities may have been mistaken about the project’s safety assessments, in particular with regard to minimum distances between the pipeline and residential houses.

The court’s ruling can be appealed within 14 days, it said.

The pipeline project is expected to have an initial capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year, with scope to double capacity at a later stage.

Stakeholders in Ethylen Pipeline Sud are BASF, Wacker, Clariant, OMW, LyondellBasell, Borealis, Vinnolit and the state of Bavaria.

The court’s ruling comes as Baden-Wurttemberg is poised to become Germany’s first state to be governed by the environmentalist Green Party after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition lost a key election there earlier this month.

For more on BASF, Wacker and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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