Bayer raises MDI stakes in China
Bayer MaterialScience AG's planned new crude MDI facility at Caojing, near Shanghai, China, will be significantly larger than originally announced. The plant will have a capacity of 350,000 tonnes/year when it comes online in 2008, instead of the 230,000 t/yr rating previously cited by the Leverkusen, Germany-based company. The Caojing facility will be the largest of its kind in the world and will raise Bayer’s global MDI capacity to 1.3 million tonnes/year, Dr. Udo Oels, Bayer director for the Asia region and for Innovation, Technology and the Environment, announced 30 June. The extra capacity will require only “slightly higher” investment costs than those originally planned thanks to new process engineering technology, he said. The expanded project, said Bayer, will help it meet growing demand for polyurethane raw materials, and “put the company in a position where it can meet future demand in the Asia Pacific region and win an above-average share of this growing market.” Bayer added that it had recently gained an important approval to begin construction of the MDI facility following an environmental audit of the project. Bayer, meanwhile, aims to start up a production facility for the processing of crude MDI into polymeric and monomeric MDI in Caojing by mid-2006. The plant will use feedstock from a 240,000 t/yr crude MDI facility being started up in Caojing next year by rival MDI producers BASF, Huntsman and Chinese partners, the Leverkusen company has previously announced.