BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) is gradually bringing additional alkoxylation capacity on stream in Antwerp, Belgium, and Ludwigshafen, Germany, from the second quarter of 2023. The investment benefits European customers in particular with a significant capacity increase well in excess of 150,000 metric tons per year.
“With this expansion, we are strengthening our position in Europe and opening up important growth opportunities in the European market through a wide range of applications such as in the detergents and cleaners, automotive and construction industries,” said Mary Kurian, President Care Chemicals. “This capacity expansion – implemented despite the challenges faced over the past few years – gives our customers enhanced flexibility and supply security. It is in response to the long-term increase in demand for alkoxylates and reinforces our market leadership in this growing segment,” adds Soeren Hildebrandt, Senior Vice President, Home Care, I&I and Industrial Formulators Europe at BASF.
Most of the capacity increase is part of the expansion of ethylene oxide and ethylene oxide derivatives at the Belgian Verbund site in Antwerp. In addition to alkoxylation, the expansion encompasses investment in a second world-scale ethylene oxide production line, including purified ethylene oxide capacity.
Alkoxylation is used for instance to produce surfactants for the home care industry and for various applications in industrial and institutional cleaning. BASF customers utilize these surfactants in the formulation of laundry detergents, cleaning agents, and dishwashing products. Alkoxylates are also used in technical applications for industrial solutions. Examples include raw materials for superplasticizer production, emulsion polymerization emulsifiers, crop protection additives, and polyurethane foams for the automotive and construction industries.