BASF has plans to build a single-train 300,000 metric tons per year production plant for TDI (toluene diisocyanate) and expand additional plants for its precursors at its site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. These include the construction of a new hydrogen chloride recycling plant as well as the expansion of plants for nitric acid, chlorine and synthesis gas. It is also planned to expand the aromatics complex at the site for the supply of toluene. Total investment including the required infrastructure at Ludwigshafen site will be approximately €1 billion and create approximately 200 additional jobs.
Production will start at the end of 2014. BASF plans to close down its 80,000 metric tons per year TDI production plant in Schwarzheide, Germany, when the new plant goes on stream. TDI is a key component mainly used for flexible polyurethane foams.
“This project will position us as the low-cost TDI producer in Europe due to economies of scale and the highly efficient integration into our Verbund,” said Wayne T. Smith, president of BASF’s Polyurethanes division. “Building our new TDI plant at our largest Verbund site in Ludwigshafen gives us the advantage of the excellent production synergies, raw material integration and logistics. Together with our existing TDI sites in Asia and North America we will be able to optimally serve customers in all major markets.”
At Schwarzheide, BASF will develop its site structures according to the future needs over the next years to focus more on specialties. With the investment BASF will have two strong sites in Europe for polyurethane basic products: Ludwigshafen for the production of TDI and Antwerp for the production of MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) and propylene oxide.