MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has announced that the implementation of the methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) capacity increase programme for production facilities at its Verbund site in Geismar, LA, USA, is progressing on schedule, according to GV.
Over time, the company targets to double the capacity from 300,000 t/y to approximately 600,000 t/y. BASF said with this stepwise capacity addition, it will support the ongoing growth of its North American MDI customers.
The first phase, which is the construction of a new MDI synthesis unit, is complete and in operation. At the same time, an older MDI synthesis unit is no longer in service. Although the instant capacity addition is limited, the new MDI production unit sets the foundation for future growth through capacity increases of upstream units.
In the second phase, for which construction is currently ongoing, BASF will be expanding several upstream units and by doing so, increase MDI overall output of the Geismar complex by approximately one third. Startup of this second phase is expected in the second half of 2021. The potential final phase is targeted to be completed by mid of the decade. It is expected to bring the MDI capacity to approximately 600,000 t/y.
“The North American MDI market and our customers remain a key focus and we are pursuing this investment to support their growth,” said Ramkumar Dhruva, President of BASF’s Monomers division. “BASF supports customer growth by providing innovative polyurethane solutions that reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. Some examples include improved insulation for buildings and lightweight materials for the automotive industry,” Dhruva said.
Stefan Doerr, Head of BASF’s Monomers business in North America, added: “The Geismar site is ideally suited for this investment thanks to its existing infrastructure, competitive raw materials and ongoing strong business support from state and local government. With this integrated facility, BASF will continue to be a leading MDI supplier in North America as well as globally.”
As MRC reported earlier, nn 17 December, 2020, BASF opened its ASEAN Technical Development Center adjacent to its existing polyurethane (PU) System House at Bangpoo site in Thailand. The new facility houses a state-of-the-art pre-polymer reactor technology to produce a hardener (component B) - a key component to boost product development efficiency, thereby enabling faster time-to-market of PU materials and solutions.
We remind that German chemicals maker BASF said in early November it had put a project to build a petrochemicals complex in India worth up to USD4 billion on hold due to the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. BASF signed a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Adani Group and Borealis AG in October 2019 to evaluate a collaboration to build the chemical site in Mundra, in India’s Gujarat state.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia decreased in January-November 2020 by 17% year on year and reached 569,900 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the greatest reduction in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia increased by 21% year on year to about 202,000 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2020. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.
BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.