BASF Fine Chemicals division said this week that it will temporarily suspend lysine production at its Gunsan, Korea plant due to essential maintenance work. The lysine plant will be shutdown at the beginning of August for up to 3 weeks.
The company reports that demand for lysine - an essential amino acid -has been persistently high in 2003, above all in Asia, and this has led to low stock levels.
BASF's lysine product is produced using a biotechnological process and is added to compound feed as a protein source - and an alternative to soybeans. Signs of deficiency occur in animals receiving diets with insufficient amounts of lysine.
In 2002, according to the company about 500,000 metric tons of lysine were sold at a market value of approximately €825 million. The BASF lysine production site at Gunsan has an annual capacity of 90,000 tons.
The company predicts that availability is likely to be affected during the overhaul and for several weeks after completion.