By Liz White, UT staff
Shanghai, China-The Integrated Isocyanate Project (IIP) being constructed to supply the expanding Chinese polyurethanes sector at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park is mechanically finished-"a significant milestone on the way to commercial operation scheduled for the middle of 2006," said a 3 May statement posted on Huntsman's website.
The $1000-million project has capacity of 240 kilotonnes per annum of crude MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) and 160 ktpa of TDI (toluene diisocyanate), to supply the rapidly growing local market for PUs.
This was one of the most ambitious goals set by all the investors of the project," according to Bob Gill, general manager of Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate Co. Ltd, one of three joint ventures formed by five investors. These include BASF, Huntsman, Shanghai Hua Yi (Group) Co., Sinopec Shanghai Gao Qiao Petrochemical Corp. and Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. Ltd.
Our current aim is to start up all our plants across the three joint ventures successfully by the middle of this year," Gill continued, a comment reinforced by the other two general managers, Jaak Van Steen from Shanghai BASF Polyurethane Co. Ltd and Peter Chiu from Huntsman Polyurethanes Shanghai Ltd.
IIP is built and operated through three joint ventures:
• Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate Co. Ltd-a 240 ktpa plant for crude MDI including facilities to make precursors aniline and nitrobenzene, built by BASF, Huntsman, Shanghai Hua Yi (Group) Co., Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. Ltd. and Sinopec Shanghai Gao Qiao Petrochemical Corp.
• Shanghai BASF Polyurethane Co. Ltd-an MDI finishing plant and a 160 ktpa TDI plant with precursors nitric acid and dinitrotoluene, built by BASF, Shanghai Hua Yi (Group) Co. and Sinopec Shanghai Gao Qiao Petrochemical Corp.
• Huntsman Polyurethanes Shanghai Ltd-an MDI finishing plant and a prepolymers plant built by Huntsman and Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. Ltd.
Demand for polyurethanes in China is expected to grow at a rate of about 10 percent a year over the next decade, to the largest market in the world by 2015, the statement concluded.