Ludwigshafen, Germany -- BASF has confirmed plans announced last autumn to invest Euro 1000 million to build a single-train 300 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) plant to make TDI (toluene diisocyanate) in Europe, and says the location, previously undecided, will be at its massive complex in Ludwigshafen.
Production will start at the end of 2014.
Along with the TDI plant, BASF said the investment includes adding or expanding plants for precursors.
The group also announced, as already indicated, that it will close its 80 ktpa TDI plant in Schwarzheide, Germany, when the new plant goes on stream.
"This project will position us as the low-cost TDI producer in Europe, due to economies of scale and the highly efficient integration into our Verbund," claimed Wayne Smith, president of BASF's Polyurethanes division, in a 17 Jan announcement.
"Building our new TDI plant at our largest Verbund site in Ludwigshafen gives us the advantage of the excellent production synergies, raw material integration and logistics. Together with our existing TDI sites in Asia and North America we will be able to optimally serve customers in all major markets," Smith added.
Precursor plants for the new TDI unit include a recycling plant for hydrogen chloride and expansion of plants for nitric acid, chlorine and synthesis gas. BASF also plans to expand the aromatics complex at the site for the supply of toluene.
The total investment includes the required infrastructure at Ludwigshafen, and the project will create around 200 jobs.
At Schwarzheide, BASF said, it will focus more on specialities.
BASF will have two sites in Europe for polyurethane basic products: Ludwigshafen for TDI, and Antwerp in the Netherlands for MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) and propylene oxide.
TDI is a core component for polyurethanes, used in the automotive industry (for flexible foam for seat cushions and interior uses) as well in the furniture segment (for flexible foam for mattresses and cushions and for wood coating).
BASF currently operates TDI plants in Geismar, Louisiana; Yeosu, Korea; Caojing, China and Schwarzheide, Germany.