Plant Expansions: BASF to invest EUR70 mn in US MDI plant; Bilcare to invest EUR10 mn in new PETG plant

BASF to invest EUR70 mn in US MDI plant

German chemicals firm BASF SE says it will proceed with the second phase of its production expansion for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) at its Geismar chemical complex in Louisiana, US.

The expansion will double its production of MDI from 300 kilotonnes/year to about 600 kilotonnes/year in the multiphase project. It intends to invest EUR69 million to continue the expansion, following an earlier investment of EUR133 million for the first phase of the project.

The first phase is expected to be finalised in the first half of 2020, BASF said.

The second phase of the project will retain 1,238 BASF jobs at Geismar, the company's largest manufacturing site in North America. Construction is expected to start by the end of 2019, with completion scheduled for 2021. The company estimates the project will support 170 construction jobs. The MDI plant has been a central aspect of the Geismar manufacturing centre for more than 30 years.

BASF adds that it has invested more than EUR708 million in major capital projects in Ascension Parish, the area where the facility is located, since 2009. For the second phase, the company is expected to utilise the state's Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

MDI is used by industrial customers to produce polyurethanes and BASF operates a global production network of MDI facilities in China, South Korea, Belgium and the US.

Bilcare to invest EUR10 mn in new PETG plant

In other news, producer of films for the shrink-film market Switzerland-headquartered Bilcare says that it will invest EUR10 million in new PETG capacity to serve its growing shrink film and medical device customer base. This it says is following “the tremendous success” of its PETG capacity increase in 2016.

With this investment, apart from PETG shrink-films, Bilcare will also be manufacturing PETG films for the medical device market. This step will not only extend Bilcare’s product portfolio but will also expand and strengthen the company’s global presence in the pharmaceutical and medical device market.

Bilcare, which operates seven sites around the world, is a global producer of rigid films and foils. For over 50 years, its manufacturing and product innovation activities have been focused on providing customer-centric solutions to the pharmaceutical sector, print and label industry as well as the security and credit card customers globally. The company employs approximately 1,200 people and has annual sales of EUR300 million.

It operates plants in Germany, Italy, India, Singapore and the US.


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