BASF halts caprolactam leakage into Rhine river at Ludwigshafen

17 May 2011 20:49  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--BASF has stopped a caprolactam leak into the Rhine river from a plant at its petrochemicals hub in Ludwigshafen, Germany, the chemicals major said on Tuesday.

BASF said during maintenance work on Monday some 1,900 kg of caprolactam escaped between 14:50 and 18:00 local time from a leaking metal pipeline.

“The [caprolactam] escape from the affected plant has been stopped,” BASF said, adding that it is investigating the cause of the leakage.

The company did not disclose capacity details or say whether the incident affected production.

According to the ICIS plants and project database, BASF’s caprolactam capacity at Ludwigshafen is 170,000 tonnes/year.

BASF said caprolactam poses a health risk when breathed in or swallowed. Also, exposure to the product irritates eyes, the respiratory system and skin.

However, caprolactam poses only a low danger in water and degrades easily, the company added.

“Given the dilution of the product in the Rhine, we can exclude any danger to people or the water system,” the company said.

For more on BASF and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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