Leverkusen, Germany -- Bayer MaterialScience will spend Euro 150 million ($204 million) to build a new state-of-the-art 300-kilotonnes-per-annum TDI (toluene diisocyanate) facility using its low-cost gas-phase phosgenation technology, at Chempark Dormagen in Germany.
Operations are scheduled to start in 2014.
As a result, BMS will close two existing TDI plants at Dormagen and Brunsbüttel, which together account for 300 ktpa of capacity.
Gas-phase phosgenation offers increased safety and a major reduction in emissions and solvents, claims Bayer. With this new technology, BMS says it can save of up to 60 percent of the energy needed for optimised conventional processes.
"This move is part of our overall consolidation strategy for isocyanates," commented Peter Vanacker, head of the Polyurethanes Business Unit and a member of the Executive Committee of Bayer MaterialScience.
"With the planned new facility, we want to meet the rising demand for polyurethane foams across Europe and extend our leading position in the market."
The global TDI market grew in 2009, after a low-growth period in the previous year or two, according to Patrick Thomas, BMS chairman, speaking in a journalist's briefing after the company's 2009 results press conference.
Thomas noted that BMS is currently also commissioning a 250 ktpa TDI plant using the same technology at Caojing, near Shanghai in China, scheduled to start production in mid-2011.