On Tuesday, November 17, BASF officially inaugurated the new TDI (toluene diisocyanate) plant at its Ludwigshafen site. The plant has an annual capacity of 300,000 metric tons of TDI. The total investment, including precursors, is over €1 billion. This is the largest investment ever made at the site and will create around 200 new jobs.
Guests at the inauguration ceremony included Sigmar Gabriel, Vice-Chancellor of Germany and Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy, and Malu Dreyer, Minister-President of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. "I am pleased to be at today's inauguration of the TDI plant and congratulate BASF on this forward-looking project. BASF is undertaking an innovative step with the start-up of the new TDI plant and, at the same time, making a commitment to Ludwigshafen as a location for industry. It is also an important building block in maintaining Germany's industrial basis," said Sigmar Gabriel at the official opening.
In her welcoming address, Minister-President Malu Dreyer underlined the importance of this investment for the region: "BASF is the largest company in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate and makes a decisive contribution to our region's economy. A billion-euro investment and 200 new jobs are important economic signals that extend beyond Ludwigshafen. With the new TDI plant, BASF also once again proves that it stands for state-of-the-art German technology."
Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, said: "The knowledge contributed to this project by BASF employees from around the world and the outstanding integration into our BASF Verbund make this plant one of the most modern and competitive facilities in the world. This enables us to serve our customers in Europe even better." Bock thanked everyone who worked on the project – employees, partners and the public authorities – for their smooth cooperation.
The TDI complex comprises plant components that produce DNT (dinitrotoluene), TDA (toluylendiamine) and TDI (toluene diisocyanate). Furthermore, the project involved the updating and expansion of production facilities for key precursors in the Verbund. In addition, BASF made investments in the infrastructure that supplies steam, electricity and water.
TDI is a core component for polyurethanes. It is often used in the furniture industry (elastic foams for mattresses, cushions or wood coating) and the automotive industry (seat cushions). BASF operates TDI plants in Yeosu, South Korea; Caojing, China; and Geismar, Louisiana, which have a combined capacity of 480,000 metric tons. The plant in Schwarzheide, Germany, will gradually be taken out of operation once the plant in Ludwigshafen starts up.