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BASF shuts ibuprofen production at U.S. plant due to technical problem

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BASF shuts ibuprofen production at U.S. plant due to technical problem

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German chemicals group BASF <BASFn.DE> has shut down production of ibuprofen at its plant in Bishop, Texas because of a technical problem, a spokesman for BASF said on Wednesday.

The spokesman said it could take until early September to fix the problem at the plant, where ibuprofen production has been shut down since June 3.

He gave no further details of the nature of the technical issue, but said a more detailed analysis should be available next month.

BASF last year announced plans to invest around 176.42 million pounds($232.74 million) in a new ibuprofen plant at its headquarters in Ludwigshafen in Germany and to expand the Bishop site's production capacity.

It said at the time that the investment would make it the only company worldwide making ibuprofen at more than one plant. The new facility in Germany is scheduled to come online in 2021.

Trade publication Apotheke Adhoc, which first reported the shut-down, said the Bishop site has a capacity of 5,000 tonnes per year, accounting for around a sixth of the world's ibuprofen supply.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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