BorsodChem Shuts MDI Plants and Looks to Sell Vinyl Operations

14 May 2009 • by Natalie Aster

Hungarian vinyl and chemicals group BorsodChem has been forced to shut down one of its two methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) plants in Kazincbarcika in response to plunging demand.

The company, whose MDI sales have been badly affected by the global recession, especially in the automotive sector, says idling one plant will allow it to operate the second unit on its main site in north eastern Hungary at a higher level of capacity.

Despite the current downturn, BorsodChem plans to complete an MDI expansion project. It is in the middle of a scheme to streamline its MDI production which will boost its capacity by 30%. The group is due to finish the work by the end of this year.

BorsodChem's chief executive, Wolfgang Buechele, was reported as telling the local press in Hungary, completing the capacity expansion was cheaper at this stage than abandoning the project. Already, his group is delaying another project to build a new 200,000 tpa TDI (toluene-diisocyanate) production plant because of the downturn in isocyanate sales.

The group, Eastern Europe's second ranked PVC producer, has revealed it is in negotiations with potential buyers of its vinyl production operations. BorsodChem intends to concentrate its efforts in what it sees as the more promising business of isocyanates, used in the manufacture of polyurethanes.

Source: Plastics & Rubber Weekly