BASF says it would stop output if gas supplies fell to half its needs

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The chemical company BASF building in Levallois-Perret, near Paris, France, is seen at sunset, November 29, 2018. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

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FRANKFURT, March 30 (Reuters) - Germany's BASF (BASFn.DE) said on Wednesday it would have to stop production if natural gas supplies fell to less than half its needs, as the world's largest chemicals group warned of the damage to its operations from Europe's power crunch.

The comment came as Germany triggered an emergency plan to manage gas supplies on Wednesday that could see Europe's largest economy ration power if a standoff over a Russian demand to pay for fuel with roubles disrupts or halts supplies. read more

The company said gas shortages would have a dual impact on chemical production: there would not be enough energy for the production process and a lack of a critical raw material for the manufacture of products.

There is no substitute for the gas as a raw material or as an energy source, it said.

In Europe, BASF uses around 60% of the gas it buys to generate energy needed in production and the remaining 40% as a raw material to produce important basic chemicals and, in the value chains based on them, a large number of products for almost all industrial sectors.

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Reporting by Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt; Writing by Josephine Mason;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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