BASF planning construction of new US formic acid plant

BASF headquarters.

BASF is planning to construct a new formic acid plant at its integrated Verbund site in Geismar in Louisiana, US.

Soeren Hildebrandt, BASF intermediates division senior vice president, said the investment demonstrated the company's commitment to the increasing market demands in North and South America, driven by current and new applications of formic acid.

"We will be able to serve our customers better with shorter lead times and greater supply reliability," Hildebrandt added. "It also reinforces BASF's global leading position in formic acid with production in Europe, North America and Asia."

The 50,000tpa plant is expected to come on-stream in the second quarter of 2014.

The company's two current formic acid production plants, located at its integrated Verbund sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, have a total annual capacity of more than 255,000tpa.

"BASF's customers use formic acid as an eco-friendly solution to protect animal feed, among other applications."

BASF's customers use formic acid as an eco-friendly solution to protect animal feed, among other applications.

The salt of formic acid, potassium formate, is used in rivers and watersheds to protect aquatic wildlife and also as a de-icing agent on roads and airport runways.

Both formic acid and potassium formate are used in the oil field industry in the drilling and completion process, as well as in shale gas exploration to promote extraction. Formic acid is also used as a de-scaling agent to remove mineral deposits from desalination plants, refineries and other processing industries.

Headquartered in Germany, BASF operates six integrated production sites and 390 other production sites in Europe, Asia, Australia, the Americas and Africa.

Image: BASF's headquarters, located in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Photo: Gewetz.