The Woodlands, Texas - Huntsman Corp. has suspended preliminary engineering for its planned investment in a new MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) plant at its site in Rozenburg, the Netherlands, the group announced 10 Feb 2009.
The decision has been taken "because existing production capacity is adequate to meet current demand for MDI-based polyurethanes following the downturn in global economic growth," said Huntsman in a press statement.
According to Huntsman, it is halting design and feasibility studies, which include some early engineering, at a stage which will allow rapid re-engagement at a future date. All third-party work for the 400 kilotonnes-per-annum project will be suspended, Huntsman added.
"We fully expect to see MDI growth return to historical levels as the global economy and consumer demand recover," stressed Polyurethanes Division president, Tony Hankins, in the statement. But, he added, Huntsman sees it as, "prudent to suspend the timetable for this major investment until we have greater visibility on how long this will take."
Hankins said Huntsman will regularly re-assess market conditions, and added that in the long term the project may benefit from lower costs for steel and other construction materials.
The group added that it will continue with its internal evaluation of strategic options for building a second MDI unit in China.
As well as being a leading producer of MDI, Huntsman Polyurethanes also makes flexible and rigid polyethers, polyesters, polyether amines, polyurea amines, propylene oxide, polyols, fully formulated polyurethane systems and TPUs (thermoplastic polyurethanes) for the automotive, footwear, coatings & adhesives, construction, furniture, appliances and packaging industries.
PIC Huntsman Polyurethanes Division president Tony Hankins