By Liz White, editor
Orlando,Florida -The MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) plant owned jointly by Huntsman Corp., BASF AG and their Chinese partners will be up and running at full capacity during October, according to Tony Hankins, president of Huntsman Polyurethanes.
"The Caojing plant ran successfully in August, and then we took it down for a site shutdown September. It is restarting now, and I am fully confident that in October it will be running at normal full operating rates," said Hankins in a 26 Sept interview during the Polyurethanes 2007 conference and UTECH North America 2007 exhibition in Orlando. Nameplate capacity of this Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanates Co. Ltd plant, operated with Chinese partners, is 240 ktpa.
Commenting on the ongoing deal in which investment group Apollo Management LP is buying Huntsman Corp, through its Hexion Specialty Chemicals business, Hankins said he has a "High degree of confidence in the change of ownership … In discussions with the new owners, I really do get a sense of their commitment and confidence in the business," he said. They see PU as a very attractive part of the new portfolio," Hankins emphasised.
Hankins said that Huntsman, which is looking at building a new worldscale MDI plant, will make an announcement on this within a couple of months.