18 May 2011 18:39 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Bayer MaterialScience’s planned 300,000 tonne/year toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) project in ?xml:namespace>
“We are on track and stick to our 2014 start-up timeline,” spokesman Ralf Guether told ICIS, but he added that much will depend on
Bayer MaterialScience, which announced the €150m ($214m) gas-phase phosgenation-based TDI project at
Following the project announcement last year, Bayer commissioned an environmental study, which will now be reviewed by regulators as part of the approval process, he said.
The project will, if realised, replace two existing Bayer TDI plants in
In Brunsbuttel, Bayer plans to convert a 125,000 tonne/year TDI plant into a 220,000 tonne/year methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) facility, Guether said.
Guether also said that as part of its plans, Bayer would need a new carbon monoxide (CO) reformer at
But even after start-up of the TDI project, Dormagen - with the new CO reformer - will continue to produce excess CO, he said.
As a result, Bayer's controversial pipeline project to ship CO from
However, the TDI project is not directly dependent on Bayer getting start-up approval for the CO pipeline project, Guether said.
Guether also said Bayer does not see any changes in North Rhine-Westphalia’s regulatory environment after voters last year elected a Social Democrat-Green coalition government that ousted a pro-business Christian Democrats- Liberal government.
“The laws regarding approvals have not changed,” he added.
But he said Bayer is aware of the “public’s sensitivity” about such projects.
“We are working to explain our projects openly and honestly” to address concerns, he said.
As for its near-term plans, Bayer expects to start up its new 250,000 tonne/year TDI unit near
However, Bayer would initially run the facility, which is based on the new gas-phase phosgenation technology, at only half of capacity - producing about 60,000 tonnes in the second half of 2011 - before ramping up to full capacity next year, he said.
($1 = €0.70)
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