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BASF to invest $1 billion in Germany Ludwigshafen expansion

BASF awards Fluor Ludwigshafen TDI EPCM contract

2B1st_Project_Smart_Explorer_Sales_Pursuit_ToolOn February 19th 2013, the Germany-based BASF chemical company selected the Fluor from the USA to provide engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services for the new toluene diisocyanate (TDI) production in the Ludwigshafen chemical complex.

Ludwigshafen is already one of the largest chemical complex in the world by its size and also by it widely diversified portfolio of chemical products from bulk olefins and aromatics to the most advanced molecules and high performances chemicals, plastics, crop protection products and additives for oil and gas production.

The TDI is a key building block of the polyurethanes chain commonly used in the automotive industry for the seating cushions and for interior garnishments.

TDI-based polyurethanes are also highly appreciated at home for their qualities of design and comfort for mattresses foams, cushions and variety of coatings.

Because of these applications, BASF had to develop its TDI production units as close as possible from the car industry and in emerging countries where domestic consumption is booming, such as:

BASF_Fluor_TDI_Ludwigshafen_Map – Caojing in China

 – Geismar in Texas, USA

 – Schwarzheide in Germany

 – Yeosu in South Korea

In addition BASF acquired in October 2012 the TDI business from the Ciech Chemical Group’s (Ciech).

Among the 5O largest listed companies in Poland, Ciech sold to BASF all its TDI activities in the world except in Poland strengthening BASF market leadership on the Polyurethane business in North America, Europe and China.

BASF_Fluor_Ludwigshafen_Toluene_DiisocyanateWith this new TDI project in Ludwigshafen, BASF aims at taking a new leap in the TDI and related polyurethane markets.

This greenfield TDI project in Ludwigshafen will have a capacity of 300,000 t/y and will be the largest TDI single train in Europe.

In May 2011, BASF made the decision to proceed with this project and in July 2011 BASF selected the American company Fluor to sign an engineering partnership for chemical projects in Asia and Europe.

In April 2012, BASF and Fluor inked a new agreement for North America to extend their partnership to all the BASF production units located in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and USA.

BASF and Fluor implement engineering partnership

According to the terms of the agreement, the partnership is covering all the capital expenditures for new projects regarding:

 – Conceptual studies

 – Front end engineering and design (FEED)

 – Project management consultancy (PMC)

 – Engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services.

This agreement is the extension of the close cooperation between BASF and Fluor in large chemical projects such as in China. 

This partnership is implemented in practice by orders placed project by project, task by task.

Regarding this TDI Ludwigshafen project, BASF selected Fluor since 2011 in respect with their engineering partnership agreement to perform the pre-FEED, FEED.

On December 2012, Fluor bagged on the top the EPCM services contract.

The whole project is estimated to $1 billion capital expenditure as it includes the production units for:

BASF_Fluor_TDI_Project – TDI

 – Hydrogen chloride recycling

 – Nitric acid expansion

 – Chlorine expansion

 – Synthesis gas expansion

 – Toluene expansion in the aromatics complex

All these addition and expansion of production units shall have to be executed within the current operations of the Ludwigshafen chemical plant.

In compensation of this significant addition of TDI capacities, the small unit of Schwarzheide in Germany will be closed.

Fluor is executing the work from its main european office in Haarlem in The Netherlands with the support of Gliwice office in Poland.

BASF and Fluor are targeting to turn their new TDI Ludwigshafen plant into commercial operations at the end of 2014.

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