The Woodlands, Texas -- Huntsman Polyurethanes has begun to expand production of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) at its Geismar, Louisiana site.
As UTECH-polyurethane.com reported last week following Editor Simon Robinson’s exclusive interview with Huntsman’s president of polyurethanes Tony Hankins, expansion at the already world-class site aims to “leverage [its] significant advantages,” the company said today.
The new 400kT/year capacity is expected to come on-stream in 2018 – bringing its total to 900kT/year. Currently, the site is at 450kT/year, a figure that is scheduled to rise to 500kT/year early in 2015. According to the press release, the site was chosen for its "access to US shale gas, strong logistics base and excellent integration."
Huntsman also said the 760-acre site is the largest integrated MDI production facility in the Americas region.
Hankins said: "Demand for MDI-based polyurethanes continues to grow at around 8% annually. In order to satisfy this demand, Huntsman Polyurethanes has a sustained global program of both upstream and downstream investment to support our customers' growth ambitions."
"Shale gas has significantly improved the economics of investing in US facilities and has helped our Geismar facility to establish a strong cost leadership position. The planned additional capacity will reinforce this position and establish the plant as a truly global supplier," he added.
In addition to its Geismar facility, Huntsman Polyurethanes operates world-scale MDI facilities at its sites in Rotterdam, Netherlands and Shanghai, China, the company press release stated.
MDI-based polyurethanes are used in construction, automotive, coatings and footwear.