Bayer MaterialScience has received permission from relevant Chinese authorities to construct a state-of-the-art world-scale facility for polyurethane feedstock - toluene diisocyanate (TDI) at the integrated production site in Shanghai. Bayer's plans to embark on construction of the 250,000 tpa plant (to be expanded to 300,000 tpa) are on track. The innovative gas phase phosgenation technology developed by Bayer MaterialScience is being used on a world scale for the first time in the TDI plant. It reduces solvent consumption by around 80% in a production facility of this size, thereby cutting energy consumption by up to 60%. Thus the process technology enables a significant reduction in operating costs and also makes a key contribution to climate protection. Compared with conventional production facilities of similar size, carbon dioxide emissions can be cut by around 60,000 tpa. The new process technology also cuts investment costs for this type of large-scale facility by approx 20%. The plant is expected to come onstream in 2010 after which the company's global TDI capacity will ramp up to more than 700,000 tpa.
The TDI project is part of Bayer's investment program at its integrated site in Shanghai. Total investment planned for this site up until 2012 amounts to EUR 2.1 bln, EUR 0.7 bln of which are scheduled for the period from 2009 until 2012. Global TDI consumption is expected to grow at 4% in the medium term. Demand for TDI in China is predicted at twice the global rate, making it the major growth driver in the Asia/Pacific region. TDI find application in flexible polyurethane foam, which is used in large quantities in upholstered furniture, mattresses and car seats.