Hungarian chemicals company BorsodChem, a member of China's Wanhua Industrial Group, will become the biggest maker of toluene diisocyanate (TDI), used to make polyurethanes, in Europe when its new TDI-2 plant starts commercial production on July 1, CEO Wolfgang Buchele told MTI on Friday.
The new plant will add 160,000 tons to BorsodChem's existing 90,000-tonne annual capacity at the start, Buchele said. Eventually, the aim is to boost production at the new plant to an annual 200,000 tons, he added.
Calculating with the sector's fast growth, BorsodChem could hold the leading spot among Europe's TDI makers until 2014, he said. Bayer will “re-take” the position after it restructures its TDI capacity in Germany, which is why it is important for BorsodChem to use its full potential, he added.
BorsodChem was put on equal footing with its two biggest competitors, Bayer and BASF, with its acquisition by Wanhua in January, Buchele said. Wanhua's unit Yantai Wanhua is China's biggest maker of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), which is also used to make polyurethanes. Together with BorsodChem's MDI and TDI capacity, the two companies have been transformed from big regional players into global players, he explained.
Wanhua Industrial Group deputy-CEO and a member of BorsodChem's board Howard Ding told MTI that Wanhua is currently in the phase of getting to know better BorsodChem's operation. The companies will draw up an integration plan together that makes BorsodChem the most competitive isocyanate producer in Europe, he added.
Asked about BorsodChem's polyvinyl chloride (PVC) business by MTI, Mr Buchele said it remains an important segment for the company as PVC production uses hydrochloric acid that is a byproduct of isocyanate production.
“We have not yet found a suitable solution to better develop the [PVC] division than now,” he said, adding that BorsodChem would part with the division or operate it as a joint venture with a partner if the opportunity arose.
Last year, BorsodChem had revenue of €750 million and EBITDA of €90 million. This year it targets revenue of €950 million and EBITDA of €150 million.
The targets were calculated before Wanhua took over the company.