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Business

No Gas Price Relief For BASF In Europe

by Marc S. Reisch
April 14, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 15

BASF’s European operations are not counting on the U.S. for relief anytime soon from expensive Russian natural gas. The U.S. won’t have the infrastructure to ship large quantities of gas to Europe for at least another five years, Hans Engel, the firm’s chief financial officer, told reporters who recently toured BASF’s R&D facilities in Tarrytown, N.Y. Russian gas delivery could be disrupted because of Russia’s takeover of Crimea, but such a disruption is unlikely to play out, according to Engel. “Interdependencies” between Russia and Western Europe, which relies on its eastern neighbor for about one-third of its gas, are likely to keep supplies flowing, he said. Russia derives about one-third of its gross domestic product from hydrocarbons, he pointed out. On the Tarrytown tour, BASF showcased new technologies including advanced cathode materials and electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries and biobased alternatives to oil and gas feedstocks. The firm expects to lose money in its battery materials business through at least 2017, Engel said.

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