Bayer MaterialScience starts construction of a world-scale TDI plant in Shanghai
Annual capacity of 250,000 metric tons approved / Capacity can be increased to 300,000 metric tons per year / Start-up planned for 2010
Leverkusen, August 2008 – During the course of this year Bayer MaterialScience plans to start construction of a state-of-the-art world-scale facility for the polyurethane raw material toluene diisocyanate (TDI) at the integrated production site in Shanghai. The relevant Chinese authorities granted permission for the new plant, which is scheduled to be commissioned in 2010, to have an initial capacity of 250,000 metric tons per year. The company’s global TDI capacity will thus increase to over 700,000 metric tons a year. There are plans to expand the production capacity of the new plant to 300,000 metric tons per year at a later date.
“With construction work for this local TDI production plant beginning now, we are once again underlining our commitment to what is the biggest growth market in the world”, said Patrick Thomas, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer MaterialScience. A four-percent annual increase in global TDI consumption is expected in the medium term. Forecasts for China as the major growth driver in the Asia/Pacific region are twice that, at around eight percent per year. TDI is deployed throughout the world to produce flexible polyurethane foam, which is used in large quantities in upholstered furniture, mattresses and car seats.
The innovative gas phase phosgenation technology developed by Bayer MaterialScience is being used on a world scale for the first time in the TDI plant. It reduces solvent consumption by around 80 percent in a production facility of this size, thereby cutting energy consumption by up to 60 percent. Thus the process technology enables a significant reduction in operating costs and also makes a key contribution to climate protection. Compared with conventional production facilities of similar size, carbon dioxide emissions can be cut by around 60,000 metric tons a year. The new process technology also cuts investment costs for this type of large-scale facility by some 20 percent. “This enables us to further consolidate our leading position on the world market for polyurethanes with optimized cost structures,” explained Peter Vanacker, head of the Polyurethane Business Unit and a member of the Bayer MaterialScience Executive Committee.
The TDI project is part of a wide-ranging investment program at Bayer’s integrated site in Shanghai. The total investment planned for this site up until 2012 amounts to EUR 2.1 billion, EUR 0.7 billion of which are scheduled for the period from 2009 until 2012. This will cover the expansion of the originally planned production capacities, including the necessary precursors, as well as any increased construction costs – due to the price of steel, for example.
The integrated site in Shanghai is currently being expanded by Bayer into the group’s largest and most technically advanced production site in the Asia/Pacific region. The backward-integrated world-scale plant for diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) is due to go into operation this year, with a capacity of 350,000 metric tons per year. This production facility will be the largest of its kind in the world. In 2006, Bayer MaterialScience inaugurated a splitter in Shanghai that separates raw MDI into monomeric and polymeric MDI and has a capacity of 80,000 metric tons a year. Polymeric MDI is used in large volumes to produce rigid polyurethane foam, which offers the best thermal insulation of all materials currently available on the market and is used as an insulation material in house building and the refrigeration chain. The monomeric product is utilized as a starting material for polyurethane elastomer production.
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