Resin supply: Bayer ramps up PUR investments in China, Europe

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October 30, 2008

At the same time that it announced the startup of its 350,000 tons/year diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) complex in Shanghai, and the groundbreaking for a collocated 250,000 tons/year toluene diisocyanate (TDI) plant, Bayer MaterialScience (BMS; Leverkusen, Germany) said it’s planning a world-scale TDI plant with annual capacity of 300,000 tons at its Dormagen/Uerdingen integrated site in Germany. In China, the MDI investment at the Bayer Integrated Site Shanghai (BISS), represents the largest facility of its kind in the world, utilizing new process technologies for isocyanate production in a market that Bayer says will be the largest global consumer of polyurethanes by 2015.

In Germany, the Dormagen/Uerdingen integrated site will replace existing TDI plants in Dormagen and Brunsbüttel, with MDI production at Brunsbüttel to be expanded to 400,000 tons/year by converting the present TDI plant to an MDI facility. BMS said that depending on the business and political conditions, the two projects are scheduled to be completed by 2013 at a total investment cost of about euro 300 million.

Bayer PUR competitor BASF has also aggressively pursued China, creating two joint ventures with Huntsman and several Chinese partners to produce TDI and MDI at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park in Caojing, Shanghai. In June 2007, it opened BASF Polyurethanes Specialties (China) Co. Ltd. in Pudong, including a production plant for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU). BASF also plans a new 400,000 tonnes/yr MDI plant in Western China at Chongqing. The company also has PUR system houses in Guangzhou and Taiwan. Bayer MaterialScience, www.bayermaterialscience.com; BASF Group, www.basf.com

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