BASF, Huntsman, Shanghai Hua Yi (Group) Company, Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. Ltd. and SINOPEC Group Assets Management Corporation held a ceremony kicking off the construction of a new plant with a production capacity of 240,000 metric tons of crude MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) per year, at Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate Co. Ltd. (SLIC) in Caojing, China.
With the new plant, the MDI capacity at this site will be doubled to 480,000 metric tons per year. In addition, the partners plan to build an 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.
“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,” said 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.
Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate Co. Ltd. (SLIC) has a production capacity of 240,000 metric tons of crude MDI per year and includes manufacturing facilities for the precursors aniline and nitrobenzene built by BASF, Huntsman, Shanghai Hua Yi (Group) Company, Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. Ltd. and SINOPEC Shanghai Gaoqiao Company. Commercial production started in 2006.