LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany (June 13) — BASF A.G. has opened a polyurethanes specialties site in Shanghai, China. The site will operate under the name BASF Polyurethanes Specialties (China) Co. Ltd. It will house a production development center, a 30,000 metric-tons-a-year systems house, a technical research and development center and an 18,000 tons-a-year thermoplastic polyurethanes production plant.
According the company´s statement, the new site will use cost advantages provided by the regional production of its Verbund-brand materials for polyurethanes. MDI and TDI needed to produce specialty urethanes at the Shanghai site will be supplied from BASF´s $1 billion isocyanates facility in Caojing, which started up in mid-2006.
BASF believes that China´s polyurethane market will grow at about 10 percent a year for the next five to 10 years and this is "a long-term investment" for the company, a company spokesman said.
The firm also said it may build an MDI plant in western China to meet growing demand for the product. A memorandum of cooperation was signed June 12 by BASF, Chongqing Chemical and Pharmaceutical Holding (Group) Co. and the local authorities, BASF said.
BASF said it will now "carry out an in-depth evaluation of the competitiveness of the location." Start-up is planned from 2010 onward, BASF added, and the plant is expected to have a capacity of 400,000 tons a year of crude MDI.