Ludwigshafen, Germany -- BASF said 26 May that it will build what it says is "the world's largest single-train TDI" (toluene diisocyanate) plant in Europe.
The site for the 300-kilotonnes-per-annum (ktpa) capacity plant will be one of BASF's integrated 'Verbund' sites in Antwerp, Belgium or Ludwigshafen, Germany, the company said.
Production is scheduled to begin in 2014, said the German chemicals giant.
The plant will will be fully integrated with precursor production. Engineering is underway and the site will be announced shortly.
TDI is a key component used in significant amounts in flexible polyurethane foams and other PU products.
"With this new plant, we will complement our strong global network of integrated world-scale TDI facilities to serve our customers' growing demand," said Wayne Smith, president of BASF's Polyurethanes division, in BASF's announcement.
Smith added that BASF expects growth in the global TDI market to be "faster than GDP in the coming years, with strong contribution from Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This growth is driven by ongoing urbanisation and increasing standards of living."
According to Dr Martin Brudermüller, BASF SE vice chairman responsible for the Plastics segment, "This new investment supports BASF's growth strategy, underlines our leading position as the largest TDI producer and reinforces our strong commitment to the TDI market. BASF will have the ability to serve its customers' demand through local world-scale production in the largest markets North America, Europe and Asia, in particular China."
Brudermüller added that BASF has "a superior technology and outstanding safety procedures. Moreover, our unique Verbund concept provides us with excellent cost structures."
As well as TDI's uses to make flexible foam for furnitiure and mattresses it also goes into automotive seating andvehicle interior uses, as well as fnding wide use in wood coatings.
BASF's existing TDI plants are in Geismar, Louisiana; Schwarzheide, Germany; Yeosu, Korea; and Caojing, China.