Huntsman Puts Plans for New Plant on Hold

Global economic conditions force delay

Chemicals producer Huntsman Corp. said Feb. 10 it has suspended planning activities on a new plant in the Netherlands in response to falling demand.

Huntsman had begun design and feasibility studies to build a plant that would produce methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, a chemical used in polyurethane production, but its existing capacity is adequate to meet current demand. The company expects to resume plans for the new plant in the future.

"We fully expect to see MDI growth return to historical levels as the global economy and consumer demand recover," said Tony Hankins, polyurethanes division president, in a statement. "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."

Meanwhile, Huntsman continues to evaluate options for the construction of a second MDI unit in China.

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