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Covestro to build world-scale MDI plant in US

Bayer spin-off and polymer materials company, Covestro, is investing €1.5 billion (US$1.7 billion) in the construction of a world-scale methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) plant in Baytown, US. The investment at the existing site is the largest single investment in the history of the company. Total capacity will be 500 kilotons/year and production is expected to start in 2024. Total MDI capacities in the region will reach around 740 kilotons/year, making Covestro the industry capacity leader in the region. Bayer says it will close its older, less efficient MDI unit of 90 kilotons/year.

The global MDI market is expected to grow by around 5%/ year in the long-term, with market drivers including the substitution of materials that do not perform as well and are not as sustainable, as well as global megatrends such as an increasing demand for energy efficient insulation solutions. MDI is a precursor for rigid foam, which is an excellent insulation material used in buildings and refrigerators.

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