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Ukrainian war now also felt in Antwerp chemistry: BASF stops deliveries to EuroChem (Companies)


Because the Russian owner of fertilizer producer EuroChem is on the European sanction list, BASF is suspending deliveries to the company. BASF and EuroChem are located right next to each other in the port of Antwerp. Until ten years ago, the Eurochem site was even part of BASF.

Jonas van Boxel

On Thursday, the EuroChem headquarters in Switzerland announced that Andrey Melnichenko was stepping aside as the group’s director. A day earlier, the Russian billionaire had been added to the EU’s sanctions list against oligarchs with close ties to Putin.

By stepping down as a director and “main beneficiary,” Melnichenko hoped the company would be kept safe. But BASF is now stopping deliveries anyway. “We are obliged to do so, because until further notice, EuroChem is still subject to European sanctions,” says Fanny Heyndrickx of BASF Antwerp. “It is now up to the EU to decide whether Mr Melnichenko’s withdrawal is enough.”

On the same island

Until ten years ago, the EuroChem installations were part of BASF Antwerp. The factory is therefore integrated into BASF’s huge production site in the port. For security reasons, deliveries cannot be stopped immediately. “We must ensure that the factories – including those of EuroChem – can be completed or shut down in a safe manner.”

BASF is now looking at the extent to which production should be scaled back. “It’s not an all-or-nothing story. It also concerns only a part of our factories – not all of BASF is standing still now. We are investigating alternatives for any excess production. This may concern new customers or temporary storage options.”

BASF mainly supplies EuroChem with ammonia, an important raw material for fertilizers. The company cannot disclose how important EuroChem is as a customer of BASF because it is competitively sensitive information. Until ten years ago, the fertilizer factory was still part of BASF itself. In 2012, the plant was bought by Melnichenko’s group for 700 million euros. The factory employs just over 400 people.

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