Ludwigshafen, Germany — BASF's toluene diisocyanate (TDI) project in Germany is progressing in line with expectations and there is progress at Chongquing, China too, said BASF executive board chairman Kurt Bock at the company's annual press conference in February.
Turning to investments, he said the company’s "large projects” including the construction of a TDI plant in Ludwigshafen and a methylene diphenyl diisocyanate plant in Chongquing, China were progressing.
The Ludwigshafen TDI plant is on schedule for completion in 2015, he said.
The China project, which he described as "100% BASF operation, which is part of a larger operation, is on track.” “But,” he warned "it’s a relatively complex set up" with other companies involved in other plants that will be part of the set up.
Bock explained that progress is being made in restructuring the company's polyurethanes business, with the separation of MDI and TDI production into Base Chemicals and the systems house and development of business in performance materials, announced several months ago.
Bock said that the company's polyurethane business restructuring started in 2013 and that combining the systems house business into performance materials was paying dividends. He explained that there are some advantages to be found by being able to offer a range of engineering polymers in a single unit and that the business is "looking for synergies" and that buyers had welcomed the move. Bock declined to quantify either the value of the savings or increase in sales that the reorganisation was expected to yield.
"The businesses are different," Bock said, "in MDI and TDI it’s about scale and it’s about location." This fits well with the base chemicals business, he added.