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July 1, 2014
Consortium plans new MDI plant in Shanghai
BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com), Huntsman Corp., Shanghai Hua Yi (Group) Co., Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. and Sinopec Group Assets Management Corp. held a ceremony today kicking off the construction of a new plant with a production capacity of 240,000 metric tons (m.t.) of crude MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) per year, at Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate Co. (SLIC) in Caojing, China. With the new plant, the MDI capacity at this site will be doubled to 480,000 m.t./yr. In addition, the partners plan to build a 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. Polyurethanes are among the most versatile materials existing to address sustainability issues across numerous applications such as the automotive or construction industries. With the new plant, BASF can participate in this dynamic market,” says Martin Brudermüller, vice chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, responsible for Asia Pacific.
The new MDI plant is planned at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) in Caojing, adjacent to the existing integrated isocyanates complex. This will enable the utilization and full access to raw materials and energy.
SLIC has a production capacity of 240,000 m.t./yr 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 Shanghai Gaoqiao Co. Commercial production started in 2006.