Steamcrackers will be gradually restarted at BASF in Ludwigshafen
During the restart process, excess gases will be burned off through flaring. In the early hours of October 20, 2016 and over the next few days, this will most likely result in flaring and increased noise in the northern part of the site.
Both steamcrackers were shut down as a result of a fire in the North Harbor on October 17, 2016, due to the interruption in raw material supply. As a result, additional Verbund plants in the ethylene and propylene value chains were shut down or production reduced. In total, 24 plants have been shut down, including both steamcrackers, due to the fire. Some of the plants were able to continue producing using existing raw material inventory. BASF is currently preparing an alternative naphtha supply for the steamcrackers via the harbor on Friesenheim Island. This supply is decoupled from the incident area. When the steamcrackers are started up, most of the affected plants will also be gradually restarted or will increase production over the next few days.
The fire damaged various pipelines including those for externally purchased raw materials. Therefore, BASF has declared Force Majeure for the purchase of naphtha, ethylene and propylene. The explosion at the BASF site killed three people and injured more than 20.