BASF, Huntsman, and a group of Chinese companies – Shanghai Hua Yi (Group Company), Sinopec Shanghai Gao Qiao Petrochemical Corporation and Shanghai Chloro-Alkali Chemical Co., Ltd. – are considering the construction of a new MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) plant in China to meet growing demand for this product.
Several sites for the plant are being evaluated. The startup is planned from 2010 onward, and the plant is expected to have a capacity of 400,000 metric tons per year of crude MDI.
MDI is one of the polyisocyanates from which polyurethanes are made, and it can be modified to give the final product different characteristics. Polyurethanes are used in the automotive and construction industries, in appliances such as refrigerators, and in footwear.
BASF is one of the largest foreign chemical investors in China and has already invested in an integrated isocyanates complex currently under construction at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park in Caojing.