BASF halts production at Ludwigshafen plant after deadly explosion

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

BASF site in Ludwigshafen, Germany (source: BASF SE)
BASF site in Ludwigshafen, Germany (source: BASF SE)

Related tags Material Chemical substance Basf

BASF is confident the shutdown of its site in Ludwigshafen, Germany will not disrupt the supply of drug excipients.

The firm halted production at 20 manufacturing plants at the site after an explosion and fire on Monday morning damaged pipelines used to transport the chemical intermediates ethylene and propylene.

Two employees were killed in the blast and several others were injured according to spokeswoman Tonia Theiss.

She told us “We are deeply saddened that employees died and several have been injured in yesterday’s incident in the north harbor at BASF in Ludwigshafen​.”

Theiss added that: “Our deepest sympathy lies with the affected people and their families​.”

She also confirmed production had been halted, explaining that: “Due to safety reasons or lack of raw materials, BASF has decided to temporarily shut down some production plants in Ludwigshafen.​”

Delays likely

The site supplies raw materials and intermediates used in the production of a number of chemicals used by the drug industry, including L-Menthol as well as Kollidon, Kollicoat, Kolliphor ​and PEG.

Theiss predicted the shutdown will not disrupt supplies in the short term, but did warn customers to be prepared for delays.

For the time being, we keep the product supply stable by using the stocks where available. We kindly ask our customers to excuse any delivery delays that might occur due to bottlenecks in our logistic infrastructure.

She added that: “We are continuously investigating possible effects of the incident and will keep them informed at any time​.” 

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