Toxic gas leaked from part of BASF's petrochemical complex in Ludwigshafen, Germany on Thursday, following what the company has called an operational disruption in a post to social media.

"Today at around 11 a.m. [local time], due to an operational disruption, nitrogen oxides gases escaped at a facility in the northern part of the BASF complex in Ludwigshafen," BASF said in the post. "The company was able to stop the leak."

Nitrogen oxides are irritating to the upper respiratory tract and lungs even at low concentrations, and in a very high concentration can cause severe toxicity, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.

The incident resulted in the formation of a visible exhaust plume, said BASF. The affected unit has since re-started, a BASF spokesperson told OPIS.

"Everything is running again, no increased values of nitrogen oxides gas could be detected," the spokesperson said.

BASF did not provide any details on the facility or products impacted, citing company policy reasons.

The German chemicals major operates two steam naphtha-fed crackers at the Ludwigshafen site, one with an ethylene capacity of 420,000 metric tons/year and another with a capacity of 240,000 mt/year, according to data from Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones company.

One of BASF's two crackers in Ludwigshafen underwent planned maintenance which started at the beginning of June.


This content was created by Oil Price Information Service, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. OPIS is run independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.


--Reporting by Fahima Mathé,; Editing by Rob Sheridan,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 26, 2023 12:02 ET (16:02 GMT)

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