The fire’s damage resulted in BASF needing to shut down the plant, and declare Force Majeure for its Citral and Isoprenol aroma ingredients.
Alongside this, its Vitamin A and E and several Carotenoid products plants are currently also shut down for, according to BASF, scheduled maintenance, but supply of these ingredients cannot be re-established until its Citral facility is restored to production.
In order to inform its customers, industry stakeholders and the interested public about the progress of the repair work at its plant in Ludwigshafen, BASF has launched a website, www.basf.com/citral-plant.
BASF confirms that it still expects to start up the Citral plant in March 2018 at the earliest.
“The start-up procedure is expected to take several weeks,” the company explains.
“After initiation of Citral production, downstream products need to be manufactured in a step-wise approach.”
Product availability: aroma ingredients
The availability of downstream products from BASF’s aroma ingredients business will vary product by product, the company says.
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. Once manufactured, the lead time to ship products to the regions differs, taking from a few days or weeks within Europe, to several weeks or months in countries overseas.
BASF says it is currently supplying its existing stocks available from before the incident on October 31, 2017, to customers in a fair and reasonable manner according to contractual obligations and applicable law.
Top priority: re-establishing production
“The Force Majeure has put many of our customers in a very difficult situation, which we sincerely regret,” says Melanie Maas-Brunner, President of BASF’s Nutrition & Health division.
“I can assure them that it is our top priority to get the Citral production plant in Ludwigshafen back on stream. At the same time, we want to keep our customers and stakeholders continuously informed about what we are doing and how we are progressing.”
Customers that require specific information not covered on the launched website are kindly asked to contact their sales representative.