GPCA ’12: BASF’s new Germany TDI unit will be cost efficient, integrated

29 November 2012 10:59  [Source: ICIS news]

(recasts para 5 for clarity)

DUBAI (ICIS)--BASF’s 300,000 tonne/year toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) plant that is under construction in Ludwigshafen will be the “lowest cost” unit in Europe because of its large scale and the use of latest technologies, a senior company executive said on Thursday.

The new unit will be well integrated with other BASF product lines, Wayne Smith, member of the board of executive directors at BASF, told ICIS at the sidelines of the seventh annual Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) forum in Dubai.

BASF said in the week of 24 November it expects the plant at the Ludwigshafen petrochemicals production hub in Germany, to come on stream by the end of 2014.

The company is investing about €1.00bn ($1.29bn) in the project.

Smith said the new TDI production will be marketed into the Middle East, Africa and eastern Europe.

The company intends to permanently close down its 80,000 tonne/year unit in Schwarzheide, Germany, once the new unit comes into production.

BASF currently operates a 160,000 tonne/year TDI plant in South Korea, another 160,000 tonne/year unit in the US and a 160,000 tonne/year plant in China.

The company’s total TDI capacity after the start-up in 2014 will be 780,000 tonnes/year, Smith confirmed.

Earlier Smith told the delegates at the GPCA forum that petrochemical companies have to evolve long-term strategies to remain competitive in the ever-changing world.

“The speed of change in today’s world – with respect to innovation and competitiveness – is unprecedented… volatility is also unprecedented,” Smith said.

In the context of this “new world order”, the importance of long-term strategy becomes even more critical to the future success of the company, Smith said.

The three-day GPCA forum ends on 29 November.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Tahir Ikram
+65 6780 4359

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