03 October 2011 19:17 [Source: ICIS news]
Correction: In the ICIS news story headlined “Bayer starts up China TDI plant, highlights built-in flexibility” dated 03 October 2011, please read in the eighth paragraph … BMS will officially inaugurate the Shanghai TDI plant on 16 November … instead of … the Shanghai TDI plant next week …. A corrected story follows.
LONDON (ICIS news)--Bayer Material Science’s (BMS) new toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) plant in Caojing in Shanghai, China, has the flexibility to run at reduced rates in line market demand, CEO Patrick Thomas said on Monday.
The 250,000 tonne/year plant is now operating commercially, although it is still in the testing phase, he said. Full rates should be reached by the middle of next year, he added.
The plant will be the first to use BMS’s new gas phase phosgenation technology.
“Our goal with this technology is to be able to run at about 50% of full rate. Nobody has ever done that before,” said Thomas. “This means you can be far more responsive to market demand without having to have multiple plants.”
Normally isocyanates plants have to be run at full rates, because the quality drops off with a decline in operating rate, he explained.
The ability to run the new plant at reduced rates will give BMS a commercial advantage at a time when TDI prices have dropped as a result of new capacity coming onstream, Thomas observed.
BorsodChem inaugurated its new 160,000 tonne/year TDI plant in Kazincbarcika, Hungary, last month. The Hungarian producer said the plant has started up during unfavourable market conditions. As a result, full utilisation of the facility, as well as a decision to take up an option to expand the capacity to 200,000 tonne/year, could only be expected at a later stage, it stated.
BMS will officially inaugurate the Shanghai TDI plant on 16 November, Thomas said. The plant will need to be shut down for inspection, and then restarted and ramped up to full rates by the middle of next year, he added.
The same gas phase phosgenation technology will be used in Dormagen, Germany, where BMS plans to build a 300,000 tonne/year TDI plant. “We’re applying for the permitting to build the same plant in Germany, and then we will shut down the two existing plants,” said Thomas.
The Dormagen project will provide a net capacity increase of about 95,000 tonnes/year, once the two plants - in Dormagen and Brunsbuttel – have closed, he said.
The new Dormagen TDI plant is expected to be mechanically complete in 2014, with start-up expected at the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015, he added.
The global TDI-based polyurethane (PU) market is growing at about 4-5%/year, according to BMS.
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