BASF expands ethylene oxide capacity in Antwerp

Article by Amanda Doyle

BASF's Verbund site in Antwerp

BASF will expand its ethylene oxide capacity at its Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium.  

The expansion will add 400,000 t/y to BASF’s production capacity of ethylene oxide and derivatives through a second world-scale ethylene oxide line, which includes capacity for purified ethylene oxide.

The investment is expected to exceed €500m (US$557m) and there will also be additional investments in ethylene oxide derivative plants which will be pursued in line with the expansion. Derivatives include non-ionic surfactants, ethanol amines, polyether polyols, and glycol ethers. They have a wide number of industrial applications including in the automotive industry.

“The increase of our methyl triglycol capacity enables us to support the growing demand for high-performance brake fluids in Europe and Asia,” said Anup Kothari, President Performance Chemicals, BASF. “The increasing number of automated cars, relying on systems such as cruise and distance control, requires brake fluids that perform well – even under tough conditions.”

BASF’s European ethylene oxide plants in Antwerp and Ludwigshafen have a combined capacity of 845,000 t/y. The startup of the new line is expected in 2022.

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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