In 2018, BASF Corp. kicked off a three-phase expansion project for the methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) plant at its Verbund site in Geismar, La. On July 20, the Florham Park chemical company announced the launch of the third and final phase of the project.
BASF – which is the North American affiliate of Germany-based BASF SE – said this final phase will increase production capacity to 600,000 metric tons per year by the middle of the decade.
The investment in the final expansion phase from 2022 to 2025 amounts to $780 million, the company said in a statement.
Expansion project phases:
- I: Construction of a new MDI synthesis unit; put into operation in October 2020
- II: Expanded several existing upstream units; started operations in 2021
- III: Includes several new upstream units and a splitter; the new overall MDI output of the Geismar complex will increase to 600,000 metric tons
“This investment underlines our commitment to North America and strengthens BASF’s supply reliability and the competitiveness of our customers’ value chains in the region,” BASF Chairman and CEO Michael Heinz said in a statement. “As one of BASF’s Verbund sites, the Geismar location is ideally suited for the expansion of our MDI production thanks to its existing infrastructure, reliable raw material supply, skilled workforce and strong community support.”
This final phase of expansion is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
Ramkumar Dhruva, president of BASF’s Monomers division, said its North American MDI customers include those in the construction and appliance, transportation, automotive, footwear and furniture markets.
Dhruva said the expansion serves these customers “by growing our capacity to meet their needs.”
BASF has more than 16,700 employees in North America and had sales of $25.9 billion in 2021, according to the company.