BASF, Huntsman and Chinese partners adding PU capacity in Shanghai

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BASF SE Executives from BASF SE, Huntsman Corp. and their Chinese partners mark the official production launch for an expansion in Shanghai.

BASF SE and Huntsman Corp. as well as representatives from their China-based partners celebrated the beginning of construction on a new 240,000 metric tons per year capacity MDI polyurethane plant at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park.

Partners in the venture — Shanghai Hua Yi (Group) Co., Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical and SINOPEC — expect to start production in 2017.

Martin Brudermuller, vice chairman of the board of executive directors at BASF, said: “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.”

With the new plant, the MDI capacity at this site will be doubled to 480,000 metric tons per year and the partners plan to build a hydrogen chloride recycling plant for the production of chlorine, a precursor for MDI.

The project is subject to further approval of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

The new MDI plant is planned in Caojing, adjacent to the existing integrated isocyanates complex, providing full access to raw materials and energy.

Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate Co. has a production capacity of 240kT/year of crude MDI. This includes manufacturing facilities for the precursors aniline and nitrobenzene built by BASF, Huntsman, Shanghai Hua Yi (Group) Company, Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co and SINOPEC Shanghai Gaoqiao Co. Commercial production started in 2006.