The fire at the plant on 31st October 2017 forced the company to declare a Force Majeure on all its citral and aroma-based ingredients – including downstream products such as vitamin A, vitamin E and several other carotenoids.
In its latest update on the situation BASF said repair work to the plant is ongoing – stating that it still expects the citral plant to re-commence operations in March 2018 at the earliest.
It added that the start-up process is expected to take several weeks, and that production of nutritional ingredients can only re-start after the initial citral plant is fully back in production.
According to the statement, 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.
As such, these downstream products for use in its human and animal nutrition businesses – as well as the cosmetic ingredients business – are expected to become available for shipment or transport six to 12 weeks after the start-up of the citral plant, said BASF.
The company added that actual availability will ‘strongly depend’ on the product and geographic regions.
Once manufactured, the lead time to ship products to regions differs, taking from a few days or weeks within Europe, to several weeks or months in countries overseas.
BASF added that 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.
“The Force Majeure has put many of our customers in a very difficult situation, which we sincerely regret,” commented 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.”
As such BASF launched a website to inform its customers, industry stakeholders and the interested public about the progress of the repair work at its plant in Ludwigshafen.