Huntsman is investing $135 million to expand
and upgrade two of its world-scale methylene diphenyl
diisocyanate (MDI) manufacturing facilities, the company said on
The plan involves increasing capacity at the Geismar
site in Louisiana and upgrading the downstream
specialties production capability at the Rotterdam in the
The Geismar capacity will be increased to 500,000 tpy, up
from 450,000 tpy, through improved process technology developed by Huntsman,
the company said.
The expansion will enable Huntsman to
support the growth of its key customers and leverages the
significant advantages of the Geismar site, with its access to
US shale gas, strong logistics base and excellent integration, according to Huntsman
The new capacity is expected to come on-stream in 2014 and will
further consolidate Huntsman's position as the leading MDI
producer in the Americas region, the company said.
At its Rotterdam facility, Huntsman is commissioning a new
state-of-the-art MDI splitter and downstream specialties
manufacturing unit, which the company says will
better enable it to serve customers with a full range
of next-generation, differentiated polyurethane products for
automotive, adhesives, coatings and other applications.
The unit is designed to handle globally sourced MDI precursor
and will be operational by the end of March.
"The Geismar investment enables us to strengthen our
upstream cost leadership position, while the Rotterdam
investment gives us greater flexibility to provide downstream,
customized products," said Anthony P. Hankins, president
of Huntsman Polyurethanes.
"The benefits of US shale gas have significantly improved the
economics of investing in US facilities, and Huntsman has a
number of other investments planned which will take advantage
of lower cost natural gas."