BASF beefs up ibuprofen API capacity with projects in U.S. and Europe

BASF is investing €200 million to build a new ibuprofen API plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and expand one in Bishop, Texas.

Ibuprofen is one of the products that BASF held onto when it sold off the rest of its API business several years ago. The German company now intends to significantly expand capacity for the ingredient.

BASF said Wednesday it will invest €200 million ($225.6 million) to build what it calls a “world-scale plant” at its headquarters site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, to produce ibuprofen. The plant is slated to come online in 2021.

“It will be the first world-scale ibuprofen plant in Europe,” Markus Kamieth, a BASF executive director, said in a statement.

It will also expand production at its site in Bishop, Texas, about 35 miles southwest of Corpus Christi, where it has manufactured ibuprofen for more than two decades. It said it expects that project to be complete in 2018.

RELATED: Siegfried completes $302M deal for BASF API plants

In 2015, BASF sold off most of its API business to Swiss contract manufacturer Siegfried Holding for €270 million ($302.3 million). Siegfried bought BASF's ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and caffeine API businesses, as well as its custom drug-manufacturing operation. With the deal, Siegfried picked up plants in Minden, Germany; Evionnaz, Switzerland; and Saint-Vulbas, France, that employed more than 800.

At the time, the industrial products company said that the deal would allow it to narrow its focus on the higher margin products, which included polyethylene glycol and omega-3 as well as ibuprofen.