BASF eyes new ways to take advantage of US shale gas boom

04 May 2012 22:56  [Source: ICIS news]

FLORHAM PARK, New Jersey (ICIS)--BASF plans to further capitalise on cheap natural gas in the US by investing in lower capital expenditure projects such as the recently announced new formic acid plant in Geismar, Louisiana, the company's chief executive said on Friday.

“Natural gas cost in the US is at an average $2/MMBtu, far lower than feedstock costs across Europe,” Hans Engel said during the company’s press conference held in Florham Park, New Jersey.

“We are certainly planning to take advantage of this through projects without high capital expenditure decisions,” he added.

BASF’s 50,000 tonne/year formic acid plant in Geismar will use natural gas for feedstock, Engel said.

Formic acid and derivative potassium formate are also expected to gain from the shale gas boom because of their use in gas production.

Another BASF investment that will take advantage of cheap natural gas is the company’s new methylamines plant in Geismar, which was completed in October 2011.

BASF’s isocyanates plant in Geismar is also taking advantage of cheap natural gas feedstock, he said.

By: Doris de Guzman
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