BASF has declared force majeure in North America on 1,4-butanediol (BDO) and its derivatives following two separate events during the week of January 14, 2018, that impacted production at its Geismar, La., U.S.A., manufacturing facility.
On January 14, a natural gas fire between International-Matex Tank Terminal (IMTT) and BASF’s Geismar manufacturing plant damaged a natural gas pipeline. The fire was extinguished and there were no reported injuries associated with this event; however, the fire shut down BASF’s operations at the Geismar site. BASF uses natural gas, via pipeline, as a feedstock and as a raw material for chemical production at Geismar.
In a separate and unrelated event to the natural gas fire, on January 16, the southern Louisiana area experienced record low temperatures for several consecutive days, along with rain, sleet and snow. These extreme weather conditions caused BASF to shut down plant operations at Geismar for operational and safety reasons.
Specific products impacted include: 1,4-butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), nmethylpyrrolidone (NMP), polytetramethylene ether glycol (PolyTHF ), 2-pyrrolidone (2P) and n-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP).
BASF estimates the force majeure will last through the first quarter of 2018. BASF said it has informed affected customers.
BDO and its derivatives are used for producing engineering plastics, polyurethanes, solvents and elastic spandex fibers.