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Bayer MaterialScience, a subgroup of Bayer AG, plans to increase capacity for the polyurethane raw material MDI (diphenyl methane diisocyanate) at its sites in Tarragona, Spain, and Baytown, Texas.
The production of aniline – a base product for the manufacture of MDI – in Antwerp, Belgium, is to be expanded at the same time.
In Baytown, the company plans to expand its MDI capacity from its present level of 230,000 tons/year to 300,000 tons/year. Annual MDI capacity in Tarragona is also scheduled to increase from 100,000 to 150,000 tons by 2006. This will necessitate an expansion in aniline production at the Antwerp site in Belgium over the same period.
In addition to these expansions, Bayer MaterialScience also recently announced plans to add MDI capacity in Caojing, China, in two stages. Work is due to begin shortly on the construction of a facility for the production of polymeric and monomeric MDI from crude MDI, which should be completed by 2006. Production start-up for MDI is scheduled for 2008 with an annual capacity of 230,000 tons.
“We expect the MDI market to grow at around 6 percent a year – twice the rate of the global GDP,” said Peter Vanacker, designated head of the Polyurethanes Business Unit of Bayer MaterialScience. “These expansions in MDI capacity will allow us to maintain our global leadership in this important product area and support our long-term goal of remaining the preferred supplier of MDI raw materials for our customers throughout the world.”
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