BASF reduce caprolactam capacity in Europe
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BASF to reduce caprolactam capacity in Europe

10:42 AM, 13th September 2016
BASF to reduce caprolactam capacity in Europe
The heart of BASF Group is BASF SE headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. With about 250 production plants, several hundred laboratories, technical centers, workshops and offices, it is the largest integrated chemical complex in the world. (File Photo)

LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY: BASF SE said it will gradually reduce caprolactam production capacity by 100,000 to 400,000 metric tonnes over the next 18 months. In Ludwigshafen, parts of the caprolactam production as well as plants producing the precursors anolone and oleum will be closed.

The measures will affect around 80 employees in Ludwigshafen, all of whom will be offered new jobs at the site.

The aim of this measure is to further strengthen BASF’s polyamide 6 value chain in a difficult market environment. “The realigned production structure will further enhance our competitiveness. At the same time, it gives us greater flexibility in managing our capacities. As a result, we can respond even better to changing market conditions,” said Joachim Queisser, head, European business unit polyamides and precursors, BASF.

Caprolactam is the starting material for the plastic polyamide 6. BASF’s polyamide 6 value chain is integrated in the Verbund and ranges from precursors such as ammonia to engineering plastics used, for example, in the growing automotive and electrical industries market.

In 2013, BASF had adjusted its production capacity for adipic acid, a precursor for the plastic polyamide 6.6, by more than 20 percent to 210,000 metric tonnes annually in response to a changing business environment.

BASF will also in the future remain the leading supplier of high-quality polyamides and polyamide intermediates for engineering plastics, films, fibres and monofilaments. It operates polyamide production plants in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; Freeport, Texas and Shanghai, China, the company said.

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