21 good years with Alfa Laval's Compabloc - and counting

At BASF’s acetylene and naphthalene plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, a steadily growing number of Alfa Laval Compabloc heat exchangers have been delivering safety, reliability – and lower costs since 1993. The first installation was followed by 25 more over the last 21 years – with the most recent commissioning in 2013.

DATE 2023-11-28

Three of the Compablocs installed at BASF's plant.The plant in Ludwigshafen, which is part of a large production complex, purchased its first Alfa Laval Compabloc to solve a serious problem with leaking gaskets, posing a safety risk and causing frequent production stops.

What BASF needed was gasket-free heat exchangers that were as compact as the plate and frame heat exchangers they were to replace.

The second challenge was to replace carbon steel shell-and-tube heat exchangers suffering from erosion.The solution to both challenges was the Alfa Laval Compabloc welded plate heat exchanger, which is suitable for operation in chemically aggressive environment.Three of the many Alfa Laval Compabloc heat exchangers installed at BASF's acetylene and naphthalene plants and for handling high-temperature fluids. It’s fully accessible. And with no gaskets between the corrugated heat transfer plates, maintenance is straightforward and efficient. 


Three of the Compablocs installed at BASF's plant

Alfa Laval Compabloc heat exchangerThe compact, fully welded Compabloc heat exchanger is designed to operate with a wide range of aggressive media and at high temperatures and pressures. 

More about Compabloc 


  • Safer working conditions
  • Savings of between EUR 300,000 and 400,000 yearly due to much less maintenance and downtime
  • Reliability – no more production stops due to leaking gaskets
  • Maintenance costs and time practically eliminated
  • Investment costs 25% lower than for alternative solutions 
  • Compact design cuts floor space, foundations, piping and installation work 

Customer's voice

The Compablocs were around 25% lower in cost compared to re-tubing the existing shell-and-tube heat exchangers. On top of that, a lot of space was freed up, which resulted in a safer plant for the operators.

Frank Steiglich, BASF Project Operation Manager Acetylene