The plant in Antwerp is BASF's second butadiene extraction plant in Europe. BASF already operates a butadiene extraction plant at its Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, with an annual production capacity of 105,000 metric tons. With the plant in Antwerp, BASF is more than doubling its production capacity for butadiene in Europe.
"This plant secures our internal supply with butadiene at competitive costs," said Dr. Uwe Kirchgäßner, head of BASF's regional business unit Basic Petrochemicals Europe. "In addition, it enables us to take advantage of opportunities on the external market and strengthens our market position in Europe."
The butadiene will be extracted from crude C4, a product from the steam cracker. "With the new plant we are further developing the integration of the C4 value chain in Antwerp," said Wouter de Geest, CEO of BASF Antwerpen NV. "This important investment strengthens the Verbund at the Antwerp site."
Butadiene is a raw material that can be used to produce synthetic rubber, among other applications. The tire industry is one of the main consumers of butadiene. Other applications for butadiene include plastics production and paper chemicals.