MDI operating rates to tighten in next 2 years − US Huntsman

11 February 2014 22:32  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Operating rates for plants producing methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) will likely tighten in the next couple of years until new capacity in Asia starts up, the CEO of US-based Huntsman said on Tuesday.

Operating rates are now at about 90%, said Peter Huntsman, who made his comments during a Q4 earnings conference call.

Utilisation rates could continue tightening this year and in 2015, he said. By 2016, the first of a wave of new Asian MDI plants could start operating.

If everything gets built on schedule, then utilisation rates could drop to 89%, Peter Huntsman said.

However, the startup of these new plants could be delayed, he said.

MDI plants are complicated facilities, as they rely on multiple raw materials and use phosgene as a feedstock.

Huntsman is among the companies that are building MDI plants in Asia.

"We were saying we thought we were close to our own MDI project in China," Peter Huntsman said. "Here we are a year later still trying to get final clearance on that project."

Back in 2011, the company had discussed plans to build a 240,000 tonne/year MDI plant in Caojing. Such a site would be ideal since it would be close to customers, the company has said.

By: Al Greenwood
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