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    Nutrition Citral plant

    Force Majeure Citral Value Chain

    Dear visitors,

    We would like to share information about the shutdown of our Citral plant in Ludwigshafen and the resulting Force Majeure declaration for our Citral and Isoprenol based aroma ingredients as well as for our Vitamin A, E and several Carotenoid products.

    You will find more insights on the root cause of the incident, the status quo of the repair work and the efforts our team is undertaking in order to startup the Citral plant as soon as possible.

    We will regularly update this page with latest information. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via nutritionandhealth@basf.com. Customers that require specific information not covered on the website are kindly asked to contact their sales representative.

    Latest update from April 17

    Please find the latest information on the status quo of the repair work attached below. New information are highlighted in blue.

     

     

    Individual workstreams completed in time

    After the unforeseeable incident in October last year, we said that we expect our Citral plant to be ready for start-up end of March at the earliest. Over the last weeks and months, our teams have worked very hard to bring the Citral plant in Ludwigshafen back on stream: We have about 150 workers on site – working 24 hours, 7 days a week, to finalize the repair work as quick as possible.

    We have completed all individual work streams in time: Within the last week of March, we have mechanically completed the extensive repair work and are filling the plant with the first chemicals.

    As we have highlighted before, the start-up procedure is expected to take several weeks. A return to normal production can only be expected along the communicated timeline for re-establishing the production of Citral and its downstreams in Ludwigshafen.

    After the initiation of Citral production, downstream products need to be manufactured in a step-wise approach. Once manufactured, the lead time to ship products to the regions differs, taking from a few days or weeks within Europe, to several weeks or months in countries overseas (please compare ‘timeframes for product availability’). Please understand that we cannot be more precise regarding timeframes for product availability or the lifting of the Force Majeure at this point in time.

    At this stage of the start-up, operating issues may arise that require adjustments and optimization. In the coming weeks, we will activate all necessary resources to address such potential operating issues and to optimize the set-up for continuous production of Citral.

    BASF's Mitigation Measures during Force Majeure

    It is our primary goal to mitigate the consequences the Force Majeure situation causes to our customers. Besides allocating remaining volumes of affected products to our customers in a fair and reasonable manner, based on a pro rata approach, we initiated several mitigation measures for our customers. However, a return to normal production can only be expected along the communicated timeline for re-establishing the production of Citral and its downstreams in Ludwigshafen.
    To realize these mitigation measures, we use small residual amounts of Citral from Ludwigshafen, first limited Citral amounts from Kuantan as well as internally and externally purchased intermediates. Quantities from Ludwigshafen and Kuantan are allocated between the affected businesses in a fair and reasonable manner based on existing legal obligations.
    In our Human Nutrition business, we focus on producing additional volumes of Vitamin A for Food Fortification and derivatives. Due to the overwhelming importance of Vitamin A for Food Fortification, to protect human health and even life, we consider it as our ethical and legal obligation to secure this business.
    In our Animal Nutrition business, we focus on producing additional volumes of Vitamin A1000. We took this decision due to the extreme shortness in the Vitamin A animal nutrition market and due to possible negative consequences of too low Vitamin A dosage rates on animal performance and welfare. For technical and safety reasons it will not be possible to start the Vitamin E production as the available Citral quantities are not sufficient to secure a safe start-up and operation of the plant.
    In our Aroma Ingredients business, we focus on producing additional Citral Value Chain volumes in Ludwigshafen. Due to our efforts during the last weeks, we have for example already established continuous production of certain quantities of Pyranol. Furthermore, we have – wherever possible – reactivated old production routes in Ludwigshafen: Linalool and Tetrahydrolinalool production started up successfully.

    What is the current situation of the aroma ingredients complex in Kuantan, Malaysia?

    Over the last couple of months, we have achieved key milestones at our new aroma ingredients complex in Kuantan, Malaysia: The Isoprenol, Prenol, Prenal and Citral facilities have started up successfully. We do our utmost to ramp up production to stable commercial scale as fast as possible; however, safety is a top priority for us. At this stage of the start-up, operating issues may arise that require adjustments and optimization. In the coming weeks, we will activate all necessary resources to address such potential operating issues and to further optimize the set-up for continuous in-spec production.

    First limited Citral volumes from Kuantan will be available to support the affected businesses during the Force Majeure situation in Ludwigshafen, i.e. for manufacturing downstream products. We will share these volumes in a fair and reasonable manner according to applicable law.

    What happened on October 31, 2017?

    While starting up our Citral production plant in Ludwigshafen after a scheduled maintenance shutdown, a fire, caused by a technical equipment failure that was beyond BASF’s reasonable control, occurred at the site in the late evening of October 31, 2017.

    Why does it take an extended period of time to get the plant up and running?

    The fire that occurred in the Citral plant in Ludwigshafen on October 31 destroyed key electric components that are needed to steer production processes. There was only minor impact on structural components of the plant.

    At this point in time, our team is working 24/7 to clean and repair the Citral plant sections impacted by the fire or by smoke. The plant has been thoroughly checked for all pollutants typically associated with such an incident. The pollution level is very low.

    Reestablishing the electric wiring in the plant is highly complex:

    • Hundreds of cables were damaged by the fire.
    • These are very different types of cables – ranging from thin types used to transmit signals to very thick high voltage power cables.
    • Many of the cables are fragile and have to be handled with care while they are laid in position.
    • The specialists at the site are cutting out those parts of the cables that are damaged and replace the damaged parts with new cables.
    • Overall, around 130 kilometers of damaged cables have to be replaced.
    • Given the amount of cables and their length, and the need to finally check all individual functionalities of the reinstalled systems, this is a highly complex and time-consuming task that requires a lot of coordination and planning.

    As a result of the fire, BASF will replace about 550 pieces of equipment and selected parts of 200 pipelines in the plant. Many of these parts are not immediately available and it will take several weeks until they arrive at the site and can be installed.

    Timeframes for product availability

    • Start-up of Citral plant is not expected before end of March 2018 at the earliest; procedure is expected to take several weeks
    • After initiation of Citral production, downstream products need to be manufactured in a step-wise approach
      • Aroma Ingredients: The availability of downstream products from BASF’s aroma ingredients business will vary product by product. For about 80% of the portfolio, manufacturing of initial volumes will start within the first four to eight weeks after start-up of the Citral plant. The remaining products (e.g. Acetates) will be manufactured subsequently as soon as possible.
      • Human Nutrition and Animal Nutrition: The Vitamin A and E plants in Ludwigshafen will only be able to restart once supply of Citral is re-established and the corresponding intermediates for Vitamin A and E become available. The downstream products of BASF’s human and animal nutrition businesses as well as the cosmetic ingredients business (Vitamin A, E, several Carotenoids) from the Ludwigshafen site are expected to become available for shipment or transport six to 12 weeks after the start-up of the Citral plant. Actual availability will strongly depend on the product.
    • Once manufactured, products will be shipped to the regions; the lead time is region and country specific, taking from few day/weeks (i.e. Europe) to several weeks/months (i.e. Asia, Latin America, North America)

     

    DISCLAIMER:

    The information contained herein is based on BASF´s understanding and belief as of the date on which this information was prepared and is subject to change or modification at any time in BASF´s sole discretion. BASF does not undertake, and expressly rejects, any obligation to update this information on or after the date on which it was prepared, except as may be expressly required by law. BASF assumes no obligation or liability for the information contained herein. BASF MAKES NO REPRESENTATION, WARRANTY, OR GUARANTEE, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, WITH RESPECT TO THIS INFORMATION AND BASF EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES OR GUARANTEES REGARDING THE SUFFICIENCY, COMPLETENESS, SUITABILITY OR ACCURACY OF THIS INFORMATION. In light of the foregoing, readers are instructed to not rely upon or take any actions based upon the information set forth herein. BASF shall not be liable for any damage caused by any reliance upon, or actions taken based upon, this information; including, without limitation, any direct, consequential, special, or punitive damages relating to or arising therefrom.

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