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Materials manufacturer Covestro is moving forward with a repurposing of its production operations in Brunsbüttel, Germany. The board of management has officially approved an expansion of production capacity for the foam component MDI at the site.
An existing, idled plant for the precursor TDI will be converted for production of MDI. The plans call for roughly doubling production capacity at the site to a total of approximately 400,000 metric tons of MDI per year. Commissioning of the new plant complex is scheduled for late 2018. Preliminary plans call for a total investment volume (in euros) in the low hundreds of millions, which is already included in Covestro’s medium-term capital expenditure budget.MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) is the basis to produce rigid polyurethane foam, which is used primarily for the efficient insulation of buildings and throughout the cool chain. The resultant energy savings help to substantially reduce CO2 emissions. TDI (toluene diisocyanate), on the other hand, is a key component of flexible polyurethane foam, which is found in products including mattresses, upholstered furniture and automobile seats. The Dormagen site is Covestro’s European center for production of this precursor.The Covestro Brunsbüttel Industrial Park is particularly well-suited for the MDI expansion because raw materials and other precursors are available there, and the site also offers the infrastructure required. Furthermore, the site’s employees also have extensive expertise and experience.The public authorities granted Covestro the permit for converting the plant in March 2014. This allows annual capacity to be expanded by as much as 220,000 metric tons of MDI. During the conversion, some 300 employees of participating service providers will be working at the site.More information: www.covestro.com