BASF launched a website, www.basf.com/citral-plant, to inform its customers, industry stakeholders and the interested public about the progress of the repair work at its Citral production plant in Ludwigshafen. Following a fire at the plant on October 31, 2017, BASF was forced to declare Force Majeure on all its Citral and Isoprenol-based aroma ingredients and on Vitamin A and E, and several Carotenoid products. The website also provides up-to-date estimations of product availability after the start-up of the plant.
As of today, 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. After initiation of Citral production, downstream products need to be manufactured in a step-wise approach.
Estimations of product availability
Aroma Ingredients: The availability of downstream products from BASF’s aroma ingredients business will vary product by product. 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.
Human Nutrition, Animal Nutrition and Cosmetic Ingredients: The Vitamin A and E plants in Ludwigshafen will only be able to restart once supply of Citral is re-established and the corresponding intermediates for Vitamin A and E become available. The downstream products of BASF’s human and animal nutrition businesses as well as the cosmetic ingredients business (Vitamin A, E, several Carotenoids) from the Ludwigshafen site are expected to become available for shipment or transport six to 12 weeks after the start-up of the Citral plant. Actual availability will strongly depend on the product.
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 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.
"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.