Supply tie-ups: BASF obtains long-term access to biobased BDO from Qore; QatarEnergy to supply naphtha to Marubeni

BASF obtains long-term access to biobased BDO from Qore

German materials firm BASF says it is obtaining long-term access to Qira biobased 1.4-butanediol (BDO) from Qore LLC (Qore), a joint venture of Cargill and Helm AG. BASF and Qore have concluded an agreement to this effect. Qore will produce the biobased BDO at Cargill’s biotechnology campus and corn refining operation in Eddyville, Iowa, US.

With Qira, BASF will expand its existing offer of BDO derivatives with biobased variants of, for instance, polytetramethylene ether glycol (polytetrahydrofuran, PolyTHF) and tetrahydrofuran (THF). The first commercial quantities are expected to be available in Q1 2025.

Qore produces biobased BDO under the Qira brand, whic is made through the fermentation of plant-based sugars obtained from field corn and will be of the same quality as fossil-based BDO with the same specification, it adds.

Jon Veldhouse, CEO of Qore says: “By switching to Qira the product carbon footprint (PCF) can potentially be reduced by up to 86% compared to fossil-based BDO.”

Wolfgang Müller, Global Strategic Marketing, BASF Intermediates division, adds, “We are further diversifying our existing portfolio of sustainable solutions, which already includes biomass-balanced products, low PCF products and products manufactured according to BASF’s ChemCycling approach.”

BDO is an important precursor for the production of PolyTHF, an essential starting material for elastic spandex and elastane fibres that are used for a wide range of textiles, for example swimsuits, sportswear and underwear, but also outerwear such as shirts and stretch jeans.

PolyTHF also serves as a chemical building block for the production of thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU), which BASF customers use to make highly abrasion-resistant and elastic hoses, films and cable sheathing, primarily for the automotive industry.

Other applications include thermoplastic polyetheresters, polyetheramides and cast elastomers for the manufacture of wheels, for example for skateboards and inline skates.

With a total of five production plants for PolyTHF in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, BASF is among the largest suppliers of this versatile intermediate. BDO also serves as an intermediate for the production of THF, whose main application is in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. BASF is among the world’s leading manufacturers of BDO derivatives.

QatarEnergy to supply naphtha to Marubeni

In other news, QatarEnergy has signed a ten-year naphtha supply agreement with Japan-based Marubeni Corp.

The agreement was signed by QatarEnergy, for and on behalf of Qatar Petroleum for the sale of Petroleum Products Co. Ltd. (QPSPP), and Marubeni Petroleum Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Marubeni Corp.

QatarEnergy will supply up to 1.2 million tonnes/year of naphtha to Marubeni beginning in October 2023. The agreement follows the five-year naphtha sales agreement signed in 2018, which expires in September 2023.

Marubeni Corp. is the largest petrochemical feedstock trading entity in Asia and has received continuous supplies of various grades of naphtha from Qatar since 1986 to supply a variety of end users in Japan.


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