The German chemicals and materials manufacturer BASF has confirmed that its plans to increase methylene diphenyl diisocyanate capabilities in Geismar, Louisiana, are on schedule.

The three-phase expansion plan aims to double the site’s capacity from 300,000 to 600,000 mt/yr. A new MDI synthesis unit was recently completed and began operating during the first phase.

Ramkumar Dhruva, president of BASF’s Monomers division, said: “The North American MDI market and our customers remain a key focus and we are pursuing this investment to support their growth.

“BASF supports customer growth by providing innovative polyurethane solutions that reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. Some examples include improved insulation for buildings and lightweight materials for the automotive industry.

BASF is currently carrying out the second phase of the project, which involves expanding the capacity of several of its upstream units. Those assets are expected to become operational in the latter half of 2021.
The last phase of the project is expected to reach completion in the middle of the decade.

Stefan Doerr, who lead’s BASF’s Monomers business in North America, said: “The Geismar site is ideally suited for this investment thanks to its existing infrastructure, competitive raw materials and ongoing strong business support from the state and local government.

“With this integrated facility, BASF will continue to be a leading MDI supplier in North America as well as globally.”