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Home | News |BASF expands capacity of its world-scale MDI plant in Antwerp by 25 percent
BASF expands capacity of its world-scale MDI plant in Antwerp by 25 percent
Updated: 2004-12-06 00:00 Source: share:

BASF will expand the capacity of its world’s largest plant for MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) in Antwerp, Belgium, from a current figure of 360,000 metric tons per year to 450,000 metric tons per year. The expansion will be completed in the second quarter of 2005. The additional capacity is intended to meet the increasing demand for MDI in Europe; some of the additional amount is also intended for the growing Asian market. MDI is an important basic product in the production of polyurethanes.

“The European and global polyurethanes markets are developing even more positively than we expected. For the coming 10 years in Europe, we expect annual growth of about 5 percent,” said Dr. Reinhard Leppkes, head of the Polyurethanes Regional Business Unit Europe at BASF. Demand for MDI will increase accordingly. The European MDI market – including the Middle East and Africa – has already reached a volume of 1.3 million metric tons and averaged double-digit growth rates in 2003 and 2004.

The capacity expansion to 450,000 metric tons is the third expansion within a short period. At the beginning of 2003, BASF expanded the capacity of the plant, which originally had an annual capacity of 230,000 metric tons, to 320,000 metric tons per year. In the same year, additional optimization measures were implemented to bring the plant to its current annual capacity of 360,000 metric tons. “In view of the strong growth in demand, we are parallel to the current expansion already taking steps to further increase the capacity of our Antwerp plant,” said Leppkes.

In addition to Antwerp, BASF also operates world-scale MDI plants in Geismar, Texas, and Yeosu, Korea. Together with partners, the company is also currently constructing an integrated world-scale production complex for MDI and TDI in Caojing, Shanghai, which is scheduled for completion in 2006. 



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