Yeosu, Korea -- Huchems Co. Ltd Fine Chemical Corp. plans to invest Korean Won 280 000 million ($260 million) to expand its capacity for MNB (mononitrobenzene) and DNT (dinitrotoluene), which are used in making polyurethane raw materials, the company said, 27 May, 2012.
The investment will also raise Huchems' capacity for ammonium nitrate and nitric acid.
The expansion, at its Yeosu Petrochemical Complex in Korea, will raise MNB capacity to 310 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa), from 160 ktpa, and raise DNT from 240 ktpa from
160ktpa. Huchems supplies MNB for making MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate), and DNT to make TDI (toluene diisocyanate).
The Korean firm has signed a design contract with Noram Eng. & Con, an Irish company, reputed to have the top MNB technology in the world. Jeong Gyeong-Deuk, Huchems ceo, said: "After completing the contract and designating a builder, construction will be completed in the second half of 2012."
Jeong added that, "Through this expansion, nitric acid related products can strengthen its competitiveness and abroad and domestic business field will be expanded."
Meanwhile, Jeong and Dr Michael Thieman, chairman of German engineering company Uhde, signed a contract with Uhde in Dortmund, its head office. The contract covers the
transfer of technology and purchasing main material for construction of a fifth nitric acid plant, which can produce about 400 ktpa.
With this technology, Huchems can push ahead with the plan to add to its MNB and DNT capacity. DNT and MNB, made using a combination of toluene and benzene, are intermediates used to make MDI and TDI, the main ingredients to make flexible and rigid polyurethanes.
Huchems was spun-off from fertiliser company Namhae Chemical in 2002.
Its main products are those given above. When construction is complete, annual sales are expected to reach KRW 1 trillion ($930 million."