Huntsman plans 40,000 tonne/year TiO2 debottenecking

04 August 2011 17:11  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Huntsman plans to boost its titanium dioxide (TiO2) output by around 40,000 tonnes/year by debottlenecking existing plants, the US-based company’s CEO said on Thursday.

“There is room for margin improvement” in Huntsman’s TiO2 business to justify investment in debottlenecking and offset material costs, said CEO Peter Huntsman. However, he ruled out a greenfield TiO2 plant.

“If I look at the historical margins of TiO2, on average over the past couple of years, I believe that any board of directors would be hard pressed to build a greenfield, brand-new TiO2 facility,” he told analysts during Huntsman’s second-quarter results conference call.

Huntsman’s planned debottlenecking involves existing plant capacities, but does not include the addition of new production lines or “what I would call material capital capex investment in the business”, he added. He did not disclose a timeline for the debottlenecking.

According to Huntsman's website, the company's total TiO2 capacity is 560,000 tonnes/year.

Huntman’s pigments business more than doubled second-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to $112m (€78m), on the back of high global demand and high selling prices.

DuPont said recently it plans to add around 350,000 tonnes/year of TiO2 capacity at its plants, including a new production line at its site in Altamira, Mexico, by the end of 2014. In addition, DuPont is looking at a possible greenfield TiO2 project in China.

($1 = €0.70)

For more on Huntsman, DuPont and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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