The fire at the Ludwigshafen plant in Germany occurred during the startup of the citral plant on October 31st. As a result the firm shut down the plant and declared ‘force majeure’ for citral and isoprenol based aroma ingredients.
What is ‘Force Majeure’?
Meaning "superior force", the phrase 'force majeure' relates to an unavoidable accident or occurrence, and is a common clause in contracts.
In a contract the clause frees parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance - that is beyond the control of the parties - occurs. Examples of such occurrences are a war, strike, riot, and crime – or any event described by the legal term 'act of God'; which includes fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane, and volcanic eruptions, etc
Now BASF says the production of vitamin A, vitamin E and certain carotenoids will also be affected after plants were shut down for scheduled maintainance – but cannot re-open until a fresh supply of citral is established.
“As the cleaning process, follow-up inspection, repair and restart of the Citral plant will take several weeks, BASF is forced to extend the Force Majeure to Vitamin A and E and, in consequence, to several Carotenoid products,” said a press statement.
“The impact of the Force Majeure situation as well as the effects for customers resulting therefrom are being evaluated at the moment. Meanwhile, BASF is implementing measures to limit the consequences of the situation.”