14 March 2011 11:56 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) plans to invest around €100m ($138.9m) to raise its methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) capacity in Brunsbuttel, Germany, from 200,000 tonnes/year to a world-scale size of 420,000 tonnes/year over the next few years, the company said on Monday.
“This investment is a clear commitment to the Brunsbuttel site. The planned world-scale MDI production facility is intended to strengthen the site and to provide long-term job security at the plant and in the region,” said Dr Tony Van Osselaer, a member of the BMS board of management.
The existing 160,000 tonne/year toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) plant at the Brunsbuttel site would be converted to MDI as part of the expansion programme.
BMS said it had decided on the Brunsbuttel Industrial Park over its other sites for the world-scale MDI plant due to the availability of raw materials and precursors, as well as existing infrastructure at the site.
A corresponding expansion of the existing upstream methylenedianiline (MDA) facility, as well as a new plant for aniline at the Brunsbuttel site, would also increase raw material supply in order to meet the increased requirements from the MDI unit. Precise capacity details were not available.
A precise timeframe for completion of the MDI expansion was not disclosed, although an initial step known as the "scoping process" was expected to take place in May 2011 and the plant was scheduled to be commissioned by 2015/2016, BMS said.
However, this would be dependent on the length of the permitting process and developments in the market.
The company’s MDI plan would represent the second phase in its restructuring and optimisation programme.
The first phase was the construction of a new high-tech TDI facility in Dormagen, Germany, with an annual capacity of 300,000 tonnes/year. This new facility would use the new gas-phase phosgenation technology, which would boost energy efficiency by up to 60% compared with a conventional plant of the same size, and would require 80% less solvent usage
The new plant was scheduled to come on stream in 2014 and would replace its existing TDI plants at Dormagen and Brunsbuttel.
BMS said these restructuring decisions will help it to keep pace with growing global demand for MDI and TDI and would further promote the company’s leading position in the global market.
($1 = €0.72)
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