Regional News  |  November 2, 2022

Joint News Release

Celebrating a milestone: Hull of innovative tanker ‘Stolt Ludwigshafen’ arrives in Rotterdam

  • Developed by BASF and Stolt Tankers for use in extremely low water conditions on the Rhine
  • The ship will now be fitted out in preparation for her maiden voyage
  • Crucial contribution to the security of the supply of materials and competitiveness of BASF’s Ludwigshafen site

Three years ago, BASF started with its plans for the construction of an innovative chemical tanker with a unique design allowing it to operate even in extreme low-water conditions of the Rhine. BASF and Stolt Tankers are pleased to announce that they have reached an important milestone in building the barge. Following its construction in China, the hull has arrived in Rotterdam where the tanker will be prepared for its first voyage in spring 2023.

“Following the unprecedented low water levels of the Rhine in 2018, I am pleased that with our robust contingency measures already taken, we were able to manage the challenges of this year’s low water period quite well. The innovative design of the new Stolt Ludwigshafen will be another crucial element for further increasing the supply security and thereby competitiveness of our largest manufacturing site in the world”, says Uwe Liebelt, President European Verbund Sites, BASF SE. “We are confident that the barge will be operational during spring 2023. With Stolt Tankers, we have found a creative, reliable, and highly experienced partner with whom we are looking forward to celebrating the successful completion of this project together.”

Lucas Vos, President Stolt Tankers, said: “I am proud of what we have achieved during this exciting partnership with BASF which supports our commitment to developing new technologies and ship designs for a greener maritime industry. Our team is primed and ready to start the next, crucial stage of the building process. We are looking forward to operating the Stolt Ludwigshafen exclusively for BASF and seeing a considerable period of planning and preparation brought to life!”

Introducing ‘Stolt Ludwigshafen’

The hull of the Stolt Ludwigshafen was built by Mercurius Shipping Group in Yangzhou, China on behalf of Stolt Tankers. After mechanical completion it was carefully loaded onto a transport ship in September and safely arrived in Dutch waters after seven weeks at sea. An exciting period of fitting out the barge will now begin: In this next phase, the Stolt Ludwigshafen will be now equipped with comfortable crew accommodation, the engines, wheelhouse, line systems and electrics.

Innovative design

The main objective of this project was to create a barge with a high load-bearing capacity and a shallow draught, while always ensuring safe operations and full maneuverability even in extreme low-water situations.

The measurements of the new tanker are 135 by 17.5 metres, which is considerably larger than the average barges on the Rhine. BASF designed the ship together with a consortium consisting of Duisburger Entwicklungszentrum für Schiffstechnik und Transportsysteme e.V, (DST), Technolog Services GmbH and Agnos Consulting, who specialise in various aspects of shipbuilding. BASF was able to join forces with Stolt Tankers for the subsequent detailed design. The company has contributed significant expertise to the project and will build the ship and operate it exclusively for BASF.


About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Around 111,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €78.6 billion in 2021. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at

About Stolt Tankers
Stolt Tankers operates a fleet of more than 160 sophisticated parcel tankers, providing safe, reliable and high-quality global transportation services for bulk-liquid chemicals, edible oils, acids and clean petroleum products. Its fleet is seamlessly integrated with Stolt Tankers’ deep-sea fleets in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean; with coastal fleets in Asia; and with inland barging services in Europe and the U.S. Gulf.


Media Contacts

BASF SE                                                                                Stolt Tankers

Site Communications Ludwigshafen                                     Head of Corporate Communications

Valeska Schoessler                                                                Ellie Davison   

Tel: +49 151 21579072                                                          Tel: +44 207 611 8926                                    




Valeska Schößler
Valeska Schößler
Media Relations Ludwigshafen Site
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Some impressions of the hull: Following its construction in China, the red hull was carefully loaded onto a transport ship in September and safely arrived in Rotterdam after seven weeks at sea.
Some impressions of the hull: Following its construction in China, the red hull was carefully loaded onto a transport ship in September and safely arrived in Rotterdam after seven weeks at sea. Copyright: BASF SE/Mercurius
Last Update November 2, 2022