BASF to expand integrated ethylene oxide and derivatives complex at its Verbund site in Antwerp

  • Investment exceeds EUR 500 million and adds 400000 metric tons per year of production capacity
  • Supporting customers’ growing demand for alkoxylates in the home and personal care industries as well as industrial applications
  • Expanding BASF’s leading position as ethylene oxide and derivatives producer in Europe
  • Sequential start-up of new capacities beginning in 2022

In line with its customer-focused corporate strategy, BASF will expand the capacity of ethylene oxide and ethylene oxide derivatives at its Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium. The total investment adds about 400000 metric tons per year to BASF’s production capacity for the corresponding products with an expected investment amount exceeding EUR 500 million. “This significant capacity expansion will enable BASF to support the continuous growth of customers in Europe,” says Hartwig Michels, President Petrochemicals, BASF. The sequential start-up is expected to begin in 2022. The expansion comprises an investment in a second world-scale ethylene oxide line, including capacity for purified ethylene oxide.

BASF Group’s second most important production centre is located in Antwerp. The Verbund site is about six square kilometres large and includes around 50 plants, bundled into 15 integrated production clusters

Additional investments in several ethylene oxidderivatives plants are part of the project and will be pursued in line with the ethylene oxide expansion. These derivatives include non-ionic surfactants, glycol ethers for automotive applications, and various other downstream alkoxylates. “This expansion will benefit our customers by significantly enhancing the supply of our industry leading portfolio of alkoxylates,” says Ralph Schweens, President Care Chemicals, BASF. “The increase of our methyl triglycol capacity enables us to support the growing demand for high-performance brake fluids in Europe and Asia. The increasing number of automated cars, relying on systems such as cruise and distance control, requires brake fluids that perform well – even under tough conditions,” explains Anup Kothari, President Performance Chemicals, BASF.

In Europe, BASF currently operates ethylene oxide plants in Antwerp and Ludwigshafen with a combined capacity of 845000 metric tons per year. The company is the largest producer of ethylene oxide derivatives in the region. Major ethylene oxide derivatives are non-ionic surfactants, ethanol amines, glycol ethers, polyether polyols and other specialty products used in a wide range of industries such as home and personal care, industrial applications and the automotive industry.

The Petrochemicals division is the starting point for BASF’s petrochemical-based value chains globally. We operate a highly competitive asset base with best-in-class technologies and focus on safety and operational excellence. With six Verbund sites and several major production sites, we are close to our customers and present in the largest chemical markets worldwide. The division supplies various value chains across the company and a broad range of customer industries with high-quality chemicals, contributing to the organic volume growth of BASF. Our portfolio includes cracker products, industrial gases, acrylics, superabsorbent polymers, styrenic foams, alkylene oxides, glycols, alcohols, solvents and plasticizers. In 2018, the Petrochemicals division generated sales to third parties of about EUR 6.9 billion.

BASF Group’s second most important production center is located in Antwerp. The Verbund site is about six square kilometres large and includes around 50 plants, bundled into 15 integrated production clusters