By Liz White, UT editor
Baytown, Texas-Bayer MaterialScience is moving fast to restore production of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) by January 2007 at a line at Baytown that was damaged in an explosion on 26 Sept.
"Work to rebuild and restart a production facility for TDI that was damaged at Bayer MaterialScience llc's Baytown, Texas site is moving ahead rapidly," according to Michael Koenig, who is responsible for production and technology of isocyanates in the Polyurethanes Business Unit at Bayer MaterialScience, in a company statement.
BMS said the US body the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is allowing it to remove the damaged sections of the facility. It has ordered replacements, and said reconstruction of the line will start soon. "We estimate production will restart in January 2007," said Koenig.
Immediately after the incident a team of experts began to investigate the cause: Bayer MaterialScience said it is working in close cooperation with the authorities, and the results of this investigation are expected soon.
BMS said the other TDI production line in Baytown was uaffected and has continued operating without interruption.
The statement said that Bayer MaterialScience's total annual capacity of TDI at Baytown is 200 kilotonnes, but did not specify the individual capacity of the two lines.
TDI is a key raw material in the production of the polyurethane flexible foams used primarily in the manufacturing of upholstered furniture, mattresses, and car seats.
A firm of lawyers has said they are suing BMS on behalf of 19 workers injured during the incident.