07 July 1997 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Bayer is guaranteed a long-term supply of nitric acid with a deal for a plant to be run by LSB at Baytown.
El Dorado Nitrogen, a subsidiary of LSB of Oklahoma, has agreed to build and operate a 443 000 tonne/year nitric acid plant at Bayer's Baytown chemical complex in Texas, US.
The $60m investment secures Bayer a guaranteed long-term supply of nitric acid for the $770m expansion of its polyurethane and MDI/TDI diisocyanates facility (ECN 7 April 1997 p45). Work on the new plant - financed by Bank of America - begins this month.
Nitric acid is required to produce mononitrobenzene, one of the main precursors of MDI. The other-aniline-will be produced by First Chemical's new 113 000 tonne/year plant on which conStruction started last year. Both plants are expected to be completed by 1998. Bayer has also ordered an on-site chloralkali plant, as well as a dinitrotoluene line for TDI feedstock.
Bayer expects to extend Baytown's MDI capacity by 136 000 tonne/year eventually, as demand for polyurethane and MDI/TDI grows steadily, especially in the Far East. But some time is expected before the site's full capacity is reached, during which LSB will be free to ship any surplus nitric acid elsewhere, said Anne Rendon, El Dorado Nitrogen's vice president of industrial chemicals.
* Bayer has announced plans to build a $40m plant for aspirin (salicylic acid) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The facility, with a capacity of 3.3bn units, is scheduled to go onstream in 1999 aspirin's 100th anniversary. Product is to be sold in Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay as well as Argentina.
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