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Plastic supply news: BASF plans massive new TDI train

Good news on the supply side for processors of polyurethane as chemicals and plastics supplier BASF has announced it will build the world's largest single-train TDI (toluene diisocyanate) plant in Europe. When ready in 2014 the plant will have a capacity of 300,000 tonnes per year. TDI and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) are key components mixed to create polyurethane.

BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany) says the plant will be fully integrated with precursor production at one of the supplier's sites in Antwerp, Belgium or Ludwigshafen. The final site selection will be announced shortly.

Martin Brudermüller, responsible for BASF's plastics businesses, commented, "This new investment supports BASF's growth strategy, underlines our leading position as the largest TDI producer and reinforces our strong commitment to the TDI market. BASF will have the ability to serve its customers' demand through local world-scale production in the largest markets North America, Europe and Asia, in particular China. " He added that BASF's integrated plants help it keep is prices low.

Added Wayne Smith, president of BASF's polyurethanes division, "We expect the global TDI market to grow faster than GDP in the coming years, with strong contribution from Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. This growth is driven by ongoing urbanization and increasing standards of living." BASF already operates TDI plants in Geismar, Louisiana; Schwarzheide, Germany; Yeosu, Korea; and Caojing, China.

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