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BASF adds polyisocyanate plant in China

By David Reed, UT EditorLudwigshafen, Germany-BASF AG has announced that it is investing $30 million in a plant to make polyisocyanate prepolymers for the coatings industry at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park in Caojing near Shanghai, China.The unit, which is expected on stream in 2006, will have a capacity of 8000 tonnes per annum for the raw materials used to make automotive, industrial and wood paints. It will supply the entire Asian market, a 21 Dec statement from BASF adds.The move is part of BASF’s strategy which is to have “production plants in the regions that count for us,” explains Gerd Löbbert, head of BASF’s performance chemicals for coatings, plastics and specialties unit. In Europe, BASF claims it is already one of the leading suppliers of coatings raw materials. Through imports, BASF has developed its market share in Asia, Löbbert’s statement continued, adding that the new plant in Caojing will further improve the firm’s position in the region, especially in China.BASF supplies two basic resin systems, according to its website: Prepolymers based on TDI (toluene diisocyanate) and a polyol for two-pack polyurethane (PUR) paints for which light fastness and flexibility are not a priority; and biuret, isocyanurate and allophanate forms of hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) for lightfast, weather-resistant topcoats, and for use as primers on difficult substrates. “

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