The global economic meltdown and the subsequent downturn has trimmed current and projected demand for the next couple of years. Since existing production capacity currently seems sufficient to meet current demand for MDI-based polyurethanes, Huntsman Corporation has announced suspension of design and feasibility studies for its planned investment in a new 400,000 ton methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) plant at its site in Rozenburg, the Netherlands. Work on the design and feasibility studies, including preliminary engineering will be halted at a stage to allow quick and efficient re-engagement at a future date.
All third party work on the project will be suspended until MDI growth returns to former levels as the global economy and consumer demand recover. However, we believe it prudent to suspend the timetable for this major investment until we have greater visibility on how long this will take. We plan to review market conditions on a regular basis, and when we do restart the project, we will likely benefit from lower engineering and construction costs, as the price of commodities such as steel and other construction materials decline," said Polyurethanes Division President, Tony Hankins. He added: "The decision to suspend work on the new plant in Rozenburg does not affect our intention to further strengthen our position as a leading player in the polyurethanes industry."
In the meantime, Huntsman's internal evaluation of strategic options for the construction of a second MDI unit in China will continue, with a number of different options under consideration.