TARRAGONA, Spain—Covestro said its plant in Tarragona is no longer competitive and will close 170,000 metric tons a year of MDI production there in 2017.
The firm will continue to use the site as a local polyurethane systems house and for hydrochloric acid logistics, and infrastructure facilities will be retained for use as a business park.
About 120 jobs could be affected, Covestro said in a news release.
The decision was driven by the inability to secure a competitive supply of chlorine used in MDI production, the firm said. Covestro added it is “most likely (to) expand production at another existing European site where there is already a modern and reliable supply of chlorine.”
“The planned closure of the MDI plant in Tarragona is a painful step that was not taken lightly,” Joachim Wolff, head of the Covestro polyurethanes business unit, said in a news release. “The chemical park will have new opportunities for development as a hydrochloric acid logistics center for Spain. And with our infrastructure, it remains attractive to new tenants.”
The company plans to operate it as a hydrochloric acid hub according to Jesus Loma-Ossorio, head of Covestro in Iberia.
“The Tarragona site will be retained and is open to new external investments. With our two sites in Tarragona and Barcelona, Covestro will remain an important company in the Spanish chemical Industry,” he said in a statement.
MDI is a component for the production of rigid polyurethane foam, used for the thermal insulation of buildings. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, reported sales of $12.85 billion in 2014. The firm has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 15,700.