BASF is planning to build a new butadiene extraction plant at its Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium, to address the short supplies of butadiene on global markets.
Demands from the tyre industry, a major consumer of butadiene, has risen sharply and has led to a considerable increase in prices, according to the company.
Butadiene, which will be extracted from crude C4, a product of the steam cracker, is used as a raw material to produce synthetic rubber, paper chemicals and plastics.
Wouter de Geest, BASF CEO, said: "By improving the integration of the C4 value chain, we will also be able to reduce the need for logistics as well as traffic."
The 155,000mtpa plant, which the company says will require an investment ranging in the double-digit million euros, is expected to start up during 2014.
In addition to the new butadiene plant in Antwerp, BASF operates a 105,000mtpa butadiene extraction plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Uwe Kirchgabner, BASF Basic Petrochemicals Europe business unit head, said the new plant would help the company secure the supply of butadiene at a competitive cost.
"Furthermore, we will take advantage of opportunities on the attractive external market and thereby contribute to our long-term economic success," Kirchgabner added.
Image: The BASF-Hochhaus building in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Photo courtesy of: Gewetz.