27 May 2008 17:35 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news) - BASF will press ahead with its proposed crude methylene di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) project in Chongqing, China, despite the Sichuan earthquake, and it will apply stringent standards for planning and constructing the new plant, a BASF official said on Tuesday.
“When planning and constructing new plants, BASF applies the same stringent standards worldwide. (And) before starting construction, we (will) determine and evaluate possible risks, for example, flooding and earthquakes, and develop a corresponding safety and environmental plan,” said Frithjof Netzer, BASF’s global procurement director (aromatics), on the sidelines of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC).
“In China, we construct plants in accordance with local earthquake regulations,” he added.
BASF signed a memorandum of cooperation in June last year with Chongqing Chemical and Pharmaceutical Holding (Group) Company (CCPHC) and local relevant authorities, for setting up a 400,000 tonne/year MDI plant at the Changshou Chemical Industry Park in Chongqing, a provincial-level municipality in Sichuan province.
“The evaluation and the approval process for our Chongqing project will take into account the recommendations of the appropriate government departments and our safety experts given the recent experience in Sichuan,” said Netzer.
BASF, the Chongqing authorities and the CCPHC are jointly studying the feasibility and economics of the MDI project, and its integration into the chemical industry park, he said.
BASF has also submitted the project application report and the environmental impact assessment to the authorities for approval, and is now working with all the relevant authorities to speed up the project evaluation, he added.
China’s existing MDI producers are Yantai Wanhua and Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate.
More than 80% of MDI production worldwide is used in rigid and flexible polyurethanes for the construction, refrigeration, furniture, bedding and transportation sectors.
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