Basf closes lysine plant

BASF has announced it is discontinuing its lysine business and will shut down its production facility in Gunsan, South Korea, by mid-2007.


BASF is discontinuing its lysine business and will shut down its production facility in Gunsan, South Korea, by mid-2007 to concentrate on its non-amino acids business. Lysine is the only amino acid in BASF’s nutrition portfolio.



According to a statement, BASF has undertaken an intensive, three-year cost reduction program at the Gunsan site. Due to rising raw material costs, overcapacities and a high dependency on exports, the business is no longer sustainable. The Gunsan site, which employs around 180 staff, has a current capacity for lysine of around 100,000 metric tons per year.



The closure is said to be part of the ongoing restructuring program of BASF’s fine chemicals business, which was initiated in January 2006. Among other measures, this program includes the merging of the human nutrition and animal nutrition businesses into one Nutrition unit as of November 2006 and the divestment of the global premix business. In February 2007, BASF sold a major part of its premix business to a Dutch company, Nutreco.


‘In order to turn around our fine chemicals business, we are focusing on a more cyclically resilient product portfolio in nutrition as well as on growth areas in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals,’ said Dr. Wolfgang Büchele, President of Fine Chemicals division. ‘By concentrating on the production and marketing of important non-amino acids such as vitamins, carotenoids, enzymes and organic acids, we are positioning ourselves as a reliable supplier of ingredients to the nutrition industry with a long-term commitment.’