China to build crude MDI plant for polyurethanes with BASF, Huntsman

BASF, Huntsman, Shanghai Hua Yi (Group) Co., Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. and Sinopec held a ceremony Tuesday kicking off the construction of a new 240,000 tpy plant for crude MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) in Caojing, China. 

With the new plant, the MDI capacity at this site will be doubled to 480,000 tpy. In addition, the partners plan to build a HCl (hydrogen chloride) recycling plant for the production of chlorine, a precursor for MDI. 

The facility is expected to start up 2017. The project is subject to further approval of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
 
MDI is an important precursor in the manufacture of polyurethanes – versatile polymers that are used in industries like construction, automotive, appliance, and footwear.
 
“Asia Pacific remains an important growth and investment region for BASF, with the fast growing Chinese market being a major focus," said Martin Brudermüller vice chairman of BASF's executive board.

"Polyurethanes are among the most versatile materials existing to address sustainability issues across numerous applications such as the automotive or construction industries,' he added. "With the new plant, BASF can participate in this dynamic market."
 
The new MDI plant is planned to be adjacent to the existing integrated isocyanates complex at the Shanghai park. This will enable the utilization and full access to raw materials and energy.
 
Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate Co. has a production capacity of 240,000 tpy of crude MDI and includes manufacturing facilities for the precursors aniline and nitrobenzene built by BASF, Huntsman, Shanghai Hua Yi (Group) Co., Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. and Sinopec. Commercial production started in 2006.

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