US Huntsman putting $135m into Louisiana, Netherlands MDI plants

21 March 2013 20:36  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based Huntsman is investing $135m (€104m) into its world-scale methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) production facilities in Geismar, Louisiana, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the company announced on Thursday.

Capacity will be increased at the Geismar facility by more than 11% to 500,000 tonnes/year from 450,000 tonnes/year using improved process technology, Huntsman said in a press release.

The expansion, expected to come on line in 2014, would leverage the site’s shale gas feedstock advantage, logistics base and integration, the company said.

At the Rotterdam facility, Huntsman plans to commission a new MDI splitter and downstream specialties manufacturing unit that the company said will enable it to serve customers with next-generation polyurethane products for automobiles, adhesives, coatings and other applications.

The unit, designed to handle globally sourced MDI precursor, will be operational by the end of March, Huntsman said.

"The Geismar investment enables us to strengthen our upstream cost leadership position, while the Rotterdam investment gives us greater flexibility to provide downstream, customised products,” said Anthony Hankins, president of Huntsman Polyurethanes. “The benefits of US shale gas have significantly improved the economics of investing in US facilities, and Huntsman has a number of other investments planned which will take advantage of lower cost natural gas.”

($1 = €0.77)

By: Jeremy Pafford
+1 713 525 2653

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