To further strengthen its market position and get better equipped for the future, BASF is raising ethylene oxide production capacity in Ludwigshafen and Antwerp to 140,000 tpa. This will increase BASF's capacity for ethylene oxide in Europe from 705,000 to 845,000 metric tpa. 345,000 tpa will be produced in Ludwigshafen and 500,000 tpa will be produced in Antwerp. Most of the work will be performed during the next planned shutdowns in 2008 and 2009. Upon completion of work, BASF's ethylene oxide plant in Antwerp will be the largest in Europe and it will be one of the largest production manufacturing facilities with integrated derivative production in the world. With its extended capacity in Ludwigshafen, BASF will reinforce its position as the second largest producer of ethylene oxide and largest producer of derivatives of ethylene oxide in Europe.
The expansion will aid BASF in responding to growing demand, especially for ethylene oxide derivatives, and to ensure that the market is reliably supplied in the medium term. This new investment will further strengthen the added value chain for ethylene oxide within BASF.
BASF mainly produces ethylene oxide for its own use. The most important derivatives of ethylene oxide are surfactants, ethanolamines, glycol ethers and polyols. Derivatives of ethylene oxide are employed in a wide variety of applications in the construction industry and the packaging industry through to automobiles and detergents.