Bandar Imam, Iran — Karoon Petrochemical has started trial production of MDI at new 40 kT/year plant recently completed at the Khomeini complex in south western Iran.
The new facility, representing the second phase of a €350m isocyanate investment programme undertaken by Tehran-based Karoon, was completed with support from Chematur Engineering of Sweden.
The new facility was producing producing the MDI precursor chemical aniline, in January 2017. It is set to reach full output of the finished compound within weeks and is due to be inaugurated in February 2017, said the company.
Karoon already operates a 40 kT/year TDI unit launched in 2008 in the project’s first phase. Its output has expanded in the past six years and the plant has been exporting into Western Europe, according to Karoon managing director Alireza Sediqizadeh.
Around 70% of Karoon’s TDI capacity goes to Iran’s domestic market while the remaining 30% has been exported to countries including Greece, Turkey, Sweden and Albania as well as Russia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, India, Nigeria and Peru. “With this new plant, we will be able to fully respond to the demands of the domestic market,” the executive commented.
The MDI will be used for the production of rigid PU foams for applications such as sandwich panels, insulation, car dashboards and shoe manufacture. The company’s latest investment is likely to benefit the Iranian economy to the tune of around €279m annually through a reduction in the cost of imported isocyanates, according to Sediqizadeh.
Petrochemical output by Iran during last year increased by 8% to around 40 million tonnes against the volume recorded in the previous year.