Huntsman and Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. Ltd. (SCAC) has announced plans to double the MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) splitting capacity of their joint venture company, Huntsman Polyurethanes Shanghai Ltd. Co.(HPS), at the Shanghai Chemical Industrial Park (SCIP) in Caojing. With the new plant, MDI splitting capacity at the site will increase from 240,000 to 480,000 metric tons per year. Commercial operation is planned to start in 2017.
The facility will take MDI precursors and split them to create more differentiated, custom made products for downstream markets.
The announcement follows confirmation that Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate Co. Ltd, (SLIC) - in which Huntsman and SCAC are shareholders - will build a new plant to produce 240,000 metric tons of crude MDI at SCIP, adjacent to its existing 240,000 metric tons plant. The crude MDI plant and MDI splitter are part of an integrated isocyanates complex that includes manufacturing facilities for the precursor's aniline and nitrobenzene.
MDI-based polyurethanes are used in an extensive range of applications and market sectors – including construction, automotive, footwear and appliances – and provide key benefits of energy efficiency, comfort and well-being.
"We've seen an upsurge in demand from Asian customers for higher quality, differentiated products and the new splitter will help us to meet these needs – providing our customers with a full range of next generation solutions for the insulation, automotive, bedding, furniture, adhesives, coatings, elastomers and footwear markets", said Tony Hankins, President of Huntsman's Polyurethanes division.
"Huntsman was the first MDI manufacturer to establish business in China in 1992. The planned doubling of the upstream and downstream capabilities of SLIC and HPS respectively demonstrates our long-term vision and commitment to support the success of our customers in the region."
Huntsman owns 70 percent of HPSs' shares; SCAC owns 30 percent.