November 19, 2003



BASF's New Vitamin B2 Plant in Gunsan, Korea Marks Another Milestone In Its Vitamin Business


BASF's new vitamin B2 plant in Gunsan, Korea, came on stream as scheduled. The official opening ceremonies took place on November 10, 2003. The 3,000 metric tons world scale plant for feed and food grade vitamin B2 marks another milestone in the extension of BASF vitamin business and is prime to satisfy growing customer demand.

The new plant is BASF's first production in Korea which produces under the rules of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). It provides feed grade and highly purified food grade vitamin B2. This success is a result of the teamwork of local engineering and experts from BASF headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

The vitamin B2 plant fits optimally into the infrastructure at BASF Gunsan site and benefits from synergies with the existing lysine fermentation. Lysine is an important amino acid predominantly used for animal nutrition. With an annual lysine capacity of approximately 100,000 metric tons, Gunsan is BASF's key fermentation site.

BASF produces Vitamin B2 via a one-step fermentation from vegetable oil with the help of the fungus Ashbya gossypii. Fermentation involves the transformation of substances with the aid of microorganisms. BASF pioneered the shift from chemical to biotechnological vitamin B2 production on industrial scale. Leading organisations such as McKinsey and the Oko-Institut of Freiburg, Germany consider BASF's fermentative process to be an outstanding example of White Biotechnology combining economic advantages and environmental benefits.

Vitamin B2 belongs to the class of water-soluble vitamins and is used increasingly in human and animal nutrition. Demand is estimated to grow at 4% annually. The vitamin is added to food and beverages and is used as ingredient for dietary supplements such as vitamin tablets. In animal nutrition, vitamin B2 is important in ensuring the health and fitness of animals; vitamin B2 deficiency leads to slower growth and poor feed conversion.

    • BASF's new vitamin B2 world scale plant in Korea on stream as scheduled

    • With annual capacity up to 3,000 metric tons, the new plant serves the growing customer demand and underscores BASF's commitment to the vitamins business