BASF expands polyurethane business

BASF is expanding its polyurethanes activities in Asia with a planned investment in a new specialties site in Pudong, Shanghai.

Polyurethanes specialties tailored to the requirements of Chinese customers are to be produced in Pudong from early 2007 onward. Approval for the project is currently being sought from the authorities in Shanghai. Construction is planned to start next year.

The project will comprise a polyurethane system house, a Technical Research & Development Centre and a production plant for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU). These activities will be integrated in one company, BASF Polyurethanes Specialties (China) Company.

The new site will use the cost advantages provided by the regional Production Verbund for polyurethane. MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) and TDI (toluene diisocyanate) – basic materials needed to produce specialties in Pudong – will be supplied from Caojing, Shanghai. BASF and its partners are also planning to start up a world-scale production plant in Pudong for these isocyanates in 2006.

The planned system house will produce special polyurethane formulations developed in collaboration with customers from a variety of industries. In Nansha, south China, BASF has been operating a system house since 1999. Globally, BASF operates 27 system houses, five of them in Asia.

In the coming 10 years, the Chinese polyurethanes market is expected to grow by about 10 percent per year and is likely to become the world’s largest market by 2015.

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