BASF and Bayer announce investments in PUR businesses


Two of the world's largest players in the polyurethane market announced investments in their respective businesses to start the week, with Bayer releasing news of a euro 5 million investment in a new technical center for the development of isocyanate production processes on Jan. 16, and BASF broadcasting plans to build a single-train 300,000 tonnes/yr production plant for TDI (toluene diisocyanate) in Germany a day later.

BASF's plans entail a total investment of about €1 billion and the creation of around 200 additional jobs in Ludwigshafen. The company will construct a new hydrogen chloride recycling plant and expand existing nitric acid, chlorine, and synthesis gas plants. BASF said it also plans to expand the aromatics complex at the site to boost the supply of toluene.

Production is to start at the end of 2014, and will result in the shuttering of its 80,000 tonnes/yr TDI production plant in Schwarzheide, Germany. Following the investment, BASF's PUR precursor business will revolve around two sites: Ludwigshafen for the production of TDI and Antwerp for the production of MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) and propylene oxide. ...
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