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May 2, 2014

BASF evaluates natural gas-based investment in the U.S.

Gerald Ondrey

BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com) is evaluating an investment in a world-scale methane-to-propylene complex on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The on-purpose production of propylene to supply the company’s North American operations would allow BASF to take advantage of low gas prices due to U.S. shale gas production and considerably improve its cost position. This would be BASF’s largest single-plant investment to date.

BASF intends to further strengthen its backward integration into propylene and grow its propylene-based downstream activities, leading to a stronger market position in North America. Propylene is one of the most important basic chemicals in the petrochemical industry and is used in the production of a wide range of higher- value chemicals. These chemicals are used to manufacture products such as coatings, detergents or superabsorbent polymers for baby diapers.

Details on the potential investment, including the capacity of the plant, investment amount and exact location are currently under evaluation.

 

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