Maastricht, Netherlands — 'India Needs an MDI plant in the next five years. It is something we would seriously consider,' said Tony Hankins, president, polyurethanes, Huntsman.
India needs MDI plant 'in the next five years' Huntsman
Hankins was speaking exclusively to Urethanes Technology International magazine at UTECH 2018.
Polyurethane consumption in India is growing rapidly and the country is 'approaching take-off velocity and in terms of a requirement for an MDI plant.'
India sits between two large areas of diisocyante production: the middle east and the far east. It can be hard for local converters to source raw materials because of their distance from these production centres.
Hankins continued: 'We think it is doable. It will take a huge amount of effort and expertise to overcome the legacy of Union carbide,' Hankins continued referring to the disaster in 1984.
'I think the infrastructure is capable. I think there are some world-class sites. There is a site in Jamnagar, for example that's one of the world's biggest refineries. It shows the scale and ability that some of the Indian national champions have,' said Hankins
'We like relationships with national champions,' Hankins added. He cited the company's long-term relationships in China. 'We have a very, very good history of that in China with our MDI investment in Shanghai; in Nanjing with our very good PO: MTBE joint venture with Sinopec. That's the way to go.'
Huntsman is looking for a capital-rich partner with good routes to market in India.
'We're bringing process, technology expertise; the ability to handle phosgene in a very safe way,' he continued.
'Our strategy here is to be capital light and intellectual property heavy. The capital we have we are going to put downstream. We are quite clear about that with shareholders.'
UTECH Europe 2018 was held in Maastricht, Netherlands between 29-31 May 2018.