BASF boosts production, raises prices for alkylethanolamines

Effective immediately, BASF in Europe is increasing the prices for dimethylethanolamine (DMEOA), methyldiethanolamine (MDEOA), and monomethylethanolamine (MMEOA) by 0.05 EUR/kg [EUR1 = US$1.298], and for diethylethanolamine (DEEOA) by 0.07 EUR/kg, as far as existing contracts permit. It cited increased costs and unsatisfactory margins as reasons for the hike...

MOUNT OLIVE, NJ, March 22, 2004 -- Effective immediately, BASF in Europe is increasing the prices for dimethylethanolamine (DMEOA), methyldiethanolamine (MDEOA), and monomethylethanolamine (MMEOA) by 0.05 EUR/kg [EUR1 = US$1.298], and for diethylethanolamine (DEEOA) by 0.07 EUR/kg, as far as existing contracts permit: The reasons for this increase are increased costs and unsatisfactory margins.

DMEOA is principally used as a precursor for flocculants in effluent water treatment. DMEOA and DEEOA are employed in the coatings industry to promote binding color particles and resins. MDEOA is applied in gas scrubber operations to remove acidic components like carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). In addition, MDEOA and MMEOA are used as precursors in laundry softeners.

Earlier in the month, BASF announced it boosted its production capacities for the intermediates DMEOA and MDEOA by 25%. The company now has an aggregate alkylalkanolamine capacity of about 50,000 metric tons a year. With the capacity increase, BASF responds to growing demand for these products. The company is one of the European leaders in these intermediates. Both amines, DMEOA and MDEOA, are produced at the company's Ludwigshafen site in Germany and are part of an alkylalkanolamine portfolio consisting of altogether 15 products that are also supplied to comply with various specifications and blends.

DMEOA is principally used as a precursor for flocculants in effluent water treatment. This product binds the tiniest floating particles in the water and rapidly settles them to the bottom. DMEOA is therefore applied in water treatment and in preconditioning effluent from chemical, paper and automotive manufacturing operations. Products made with DMEOA have been given a positive environmental performance evaluation by the European Union. DMEOA is also employed in the coatings industry to promote binding color particles and resins.

MDEOA is intrinsic to the gas scrubbing technology developed by BASF, marketed under its aMDEA® (activated methyldiethanolamine) trademark and used around the globe.

The Intermediates Operating Division (www.basf.de/intermediates) of the BASF Group develops, produces and markets a wide range of intermediates. Amines, diols, polyalcohols and acids rank prominently among the Division's 600 products. Intermediates serve a multitude of needs, including as starting materials for detergents, plastics, textile fibers, coatings, pharmaceuticals and crop protection products. Sales of the Division from its 15 production sites in Europe, Asia, North and South America totaled 1.8 billion euros [US$2.34 billion] in 2003.

BASF is a leading chemical company, offering its customers a range of high-performance products, including chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products, fine chemicals as well as crude oil and natural gas. In 2002, BASF had sales of $34 billion and more than 89,000 employees worldwide. BASF Corp. (www.basf.com/usa) is the North American affiliate of BASF AG, Ludwigshafen, Germany. In North America, 2002 sales were approximately $8.2 billion and the company employs about 12,000 people.

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