Leverkusen, Germany - Bayer MaterialScience is considering building a 400 kilotonnes per annum plant to make methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) in Europe. The plant could be commissioned in 2012, said a 12 Sept announcement from the group. BMS said a feasibility study being carried out will focus on costs and infrastructure for a number of possible locations. A decision will be made next year, the company added.Such a plant would raise BMS' total worldwide MDI capacity to 1.85 million tonnes a year - including 350 ktpa capacity at BMS' integrated Shanghai site, scheduled to start up next year. "With a new world-scale plant for MDI in Europe we would like to expand our leading position in the polyurethane industry", said Patrick Thomas, BMS chairman, in the company statement."This strategy is intended to create the basis for meeting the rising demand for MDI in eastern and western Europe and in the Middle East in the medium to long term," commented Peter Vanacker, head of the BMS Polyurethanes Business Unit, in BMS' announcement. BMS said demand for MDI in Europe is estimated to be growing at about six percent a year and to meet this BMS has raised capacity at Krefeld-Uerdingen and Tarragona to 200 ktpa and 150 ktpa, respectively. Further debottlenecking at plants in Europe is scheduled before the potential start up of the new unit in 2012, BMS said. The group points out that the new facility would incorporate, for the first time, a new, highly energy-efficient technology for the phosgenation stage. This reduces energy consumption considerably by reducing the solvent cycles, BMS said, adding that emissions will also be significantly reduced. BMS also expects to need less investment than for a conventional plant of the same size.PIC: Expanding BMS' position in MDI in Europe - Patrick Thomas."