BASF has received approval for a 400,000 metric tons per year MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) project in Chongqing, China. The investment will total RMB 8 billion (approximately €860 million or US $1.21 billion). The facility, which will produce a core component mainly used for polyurethane foams, is expected to start up by 2014.
The BASF project was approved by Chinese authorities, following a stringent examination of environmental, health and safety standards, two rounds of local public consultation and several expert reviews. This state-of-the-art facility will consist of an MDI plant, a nitrobenzene plant and an aniline plant, and will cover 40 hectares. It will form the center of an integrated chemical production complex operated by the Chongqing (Changshou) Chemical Industry Park.
Dr. Martin Brudermüller, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, responsible for Asia Pacific, said, “Chongqing is at the center of a growing inland region. Investing here will give us access to what will be one of the biggest MDI markets in the world. We are applying world-class safety and environmental standards in the construction and operation of our facility, and at the same time we will produce products that have a direct impact on increasing energy efficiency and lowering carbon emissions. Our investment is a pioneering step into western China. With this investment we are supporting the Chinese Government with their plans for rapid and sustainable development in western China.”
At the facility, BASF will produce MDI, a core component for versatile polyurethane (PU) products. Polyurethane is used extensively for cold as well as heat insulation applications and is the preferred material for keeping food and medications cold during production, distribution and storage. With its unique insulation properties, PU is used in the majority of refrigerators and freezers, for the insulation of hot water tanks, and for district heating or cooling pipeline insulation. In China, BASF has been producing MDI in Caojing, Shanghai since 2006. The company also has production of MDI in Antwerp, Belgium; Yeosu, Korea; and Geismar, Louisiana.
In addition to the production complex for MDI, BASF is also establishing a new Polyurethane Solutions System House in Chongqing to meet the demand of the growing markets in important industries like construction, appliances, transportation and footwear. The planned System House will have local production with sales, technical service and development personnel to provide fast and competent support to its customers.
“With these steps, BASF is the first global PU player to show a strong commitment to this important and fast growing region of China,” said Wayne T. Smith, President of BASF’s Polyurethanes division. “Our Polyurethanes Solutions System House will be fully integrated into the new MDI plant which is a significant advantage for our customers. In addition, they will benefit from the know-how and experience of BASF’s PU specialists worldwide.”