Germany: Closure of Production Plants Basf to Reduce Caprolactam Production

Editor: Alexander Stark

Basf announced that it will gradually reduce its caprolactam production in Europe by 100,000 metric tons to 400,000 metric tons over the next 18 months. In Ludwigshafen, parts of the caprolactam production as well as plants producing the precursors anolone and oleum will be closed.

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Four production plants in Ludwigshafen will be fully or partially closed.
Four production plants in Ludwigshafen will be fully or partially closed.
(Source: BASF SE)

Ludwigshafen/Germany — Caprolactam is the starting material for the plastic polyamide 6. The company's polyamide value chain ranges from precursors such as ammonia to engineering plastics used, for example, in the growing automotive and electrical industries market.

According to the corporation, the aim of this measure was to further strengthen their polyamide 6 value chain in a difficult market environment. “The realigned production structure will further enhance our competitiveness,” said Joachim Queisser, head of the European business unit Polyamides and Precursors at Basf. “At the same time, it gives us greater flexibility in managing our capacities. As a result, we can respond even better to changing market conditions.” The measures will affect around 80 employees in Ludwigshafen, all of whom will be offered new jobs at the site.

In 2013, the chemical company had adjusted its production capacity for adipic acid, a precursor for the plastic polyamide 6.6, by more than 20 % to 210,000 metric tons annually in response to a changing business environment. BASF operates polyamide production plants in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; Freeport, Texas and Shanghai, China.