BASF resumes Heliogen Blue pigment production

Related tags Polystyrene Styrene Basf

Chemical giant BASF has resumed production of the metal-free
phthalocyanine pigment Heliogen Blue. The new material, used in
packaging, conforms to the existing specification and its quality
corresponds to that of the existing product.

Effective immediately, BASF says that it has obtained an unrestricted supply.

The production of a starting material for Heliogen Blue D 7490 was affected by a fire that occurred on 2 September 2003 on the premises of DyStar Textilfarben in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF informed its customers at once and immediately began work on resuming production.

Heliogen Blue D 7490 is a metal-free phthalocyanine pigment with high colour strength and high chroma. BASF​ claims that these properties make Heliogen Blue D 7490 the leading metal-free pigment for packaging and lithographic inks.

However, the firm also announced that as from yesterday, the European price for polystyrene (PS) is to increase by €200 per metric ton in response to what it calls totally unsatisfactory margins and earnings. Polystyrene, a standard polymer in BASF's range of styrenic plastics, is used extensively in refrigerator linings and food packaging.

The company is blaming the increases on extraordinarily high raw material costs. The main raw materials for polystyrene are benzene and ethylene, which are used in the production of styrene, the pre-cursor of polystyrene.

"We buy benzene in order make styrene,"​ BASF spokesperson Dr Sabine Phillip told "Benzene prices are affected by oil prices and also of course supply and demand."

As a result of these two pressures, the price of benzene has now reached historically high levels. Prices have been rising steadily since the start of the year, and are now double what they were six months ago.

"Anyone who uses polystyrene for packaging purposes will almost certainly be putting the extra costs through their value chain,"​ said Phillip. "Polystyrene is also used in the lining of fridges and in other features such as coffee machines."

In other words, every manufacturer that uses polystyrene in some part of their production process will be affected.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

Related news

Follow us


View more