LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany (Nov. 1)—BASF A.G. is expanding the annual capacity of its methylene diphenyl diisocyanate plant in Antwerp, Belgium, 39.1 percent to 320,000 metric tons. Due to come on stream in 2003, the expansion will meet growing Asian demand for polyurethane materials until BASF brings new capacity on stream in China, the company said. BASF plans to build major urethane chemicals facilities at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park in Caojing, China, including a world-scale MDI plant scheduled to be completed in 2005. BASF also operates MDI factories in Geismar, La., and Yeosu, South Korea. For the next 10 years, the firm expects growth rates of 5 to 6 percent for the world polyurethane market, Uwe Hartwig, head of BASF's global marketing coordination for polyurethanes, said in a statement.