Aromatics '05: Bayer calls for more benzene capacity

16 November 2005 14:00  [Source: ICIS news]

COLOGNE, Germany (ICIS news)--Diversified German chemicals producer Bayer called on Wednesday for benzene producers to ensure there is enough supply to meet demand growth.

"There is potential for strong growth in our markets and I can only encourage the aromatics industry for appropriate supply," Werner Grosseschallau, Bayer MaterialScience's (BMS) vice president for global procurement told delegates at the Fourth Aromatics and Derivatives conference.

BMS is a major merchant buyer of benzene, toluene and phenol for its polyurethanes (PU) and polycarbonate (PC) businesses where it is predicting strong growth. Grosseschallau said from 2004 to 2006 demand for PC and PC blends was expected to grow of over 8% annually and PU raw materials (isocyanates) at more than 5% a year.

As a result, BMS will need an additional 1.5-2m tonne of benzene until 2020. Grosseschallau said that benzene operating rates will remain at uncomfortably high levels and there will be periods of shortage if there was no capacity expansion. He also said that Europe would be competing for molecules against the US and Asia.

"European demand for benzene will grow at healthy rates and new capacity is needed in the mid and long term," he said.

By: Elaine Burridge
+44 20 8652 3214

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