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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 Customers that require specific information not covered on the website are kindly asked to contact their sales representative.

    Latest update from January 17

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



    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 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)



    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.