Construction of additional MDI plant in China
BASF, Huntsman, and a group of
Chinese companies – Shanghai Hua Yi (Group Company), Sinopec
Shanghai Gao Qiao Petrochemical Corporation and Shanghai Chloro-Alkali
Chemical Co., Ltd. – are considering the construction of
a new MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) plant in China to meet
growing demand for this product.
Several sites for the plant are
being evaluated. The startup is planned from 2010 onward, and
the plant is expected to have a capacity of 400,000 metric tons
per year of crude MDI.
“The market for polyurethanes
in China is expected to grow at a double-digit rate and will become
the largest in the world within the next decade,” said Jean-Pierre
Dhanis, president of BASF’s polyurethanes division.
MDI is an important precursor
in the manufacture of polyurethanes – versatile polymers
that are used in the automotive and construction industries, in
appliances such as refrigerators, and in footwear.
As part of BASF’s investment
strategy for the Chinese market, an integrated isocyanates complex
is currently under construction at the Shanghai Chemical Industry
Park in Caojing. This project is progressing as scheduled, and
is expected to begin commercial production by mid-2006. The complex
is also a joint venture between BASF, Huntsman, and the same group
of Chinese companies mentioned above. It will have a capacity
of 240,000 metric tons per year of crude MDI, and 160,000 metric
tons per year of TDI (toluene diisocyanate). The total cost for
the complex is about $1 billion.