THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (Aug. 9, 12:15 p.m. ET) — Getting approval for doubling capacity at its methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) site in China is proving a protracted process for Huntsman Corp.
CEO Peter Huntsman expressed his frustration at the slow pace of the permitting process in an Aug. 4 conference call to discuss the company's second quarter results.
Huntsman believes other companies may be going through the same slow process — “a permitting process that has been at a snail's pace,” he said, adding “I don't believe that our permitting process is any different from anybody else's.”
“We are still working at over a year, just to get the environmental permitting,” he emphasized.
At Caojing, on the outskirts of Shanghai, Huntsman has a 240,000 metric ton per year MDI plant, set up as a joint venture with Shanghai Chemical Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. Ltd. The company said in March 2009 that it was starting work on the environmental assessments to set up a second identical MDI unit.
“This is just my personal opinion, I believe that a lot of these announced expansions in Asia, particularly in China, are going to be coming on substantially later than what some in the market have been publishing and had been speculating,” Huntsman said during the call.