BASF to construct TDI production plant in Germany

BASF is investing €1bn to set up a 300,000tpa toluene diisocyanate (TDI) production plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

The company will construct a new hydrogen chloride recycling plant, expand other plants for precursors including nitric acid, chlorine and synthesis gas and also the aromatics complex for the supply of toluene at its Ludwigshafen site, which is expected to start production at the end of 2014. Associated investments in precursors and infrastructure will support additional growth in other BASF value chains, the company said.

BASF said when the new plant goes on stream, it will close down its 80,000tpa TDI production plant in Schwarzheide, Germany, and according to future needs over the coming years it will develop its Schwarzheide site structures to focus more on specialities.

Polyurethanes division president Wayne Smith said this project will position them as the low-cost TDI producer in Europe due to economies of scale and the highly efficient integration into their Verbund. "Building our new TDI plant at our largest Verbund site in Ludwigshafen gives us the advantage of the excellent production synergies, raw material integration and logistics," he said. "Together with our existing TDI sites in Asia and North America we will be able to optimally serve customers in all major markets."

BASF also operates TDI plants in Geismar, Louisiana, US, Yeosu, Korea, Caojing, China. TDI is a core component for polyurethanes and is used in the automotive industry for seating cushions and interior applications as well in the furniture segment for flexible foams for mattresses, cushions or wood coating. BASF portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas.