Expansions: Penn Color opens tech centre in Singapore; BASF breaks ground on MDI capacity expansion project in US

Penn Color opens tech centre in Singapore

US masterbatch firm Penn Color Inc says it celebrated another milestone in its path to expanding its footprint in Asia with the official opening ceremony for its new Technology Centre in Singapore recently.

This is in addition to the company’s existing Technology Centres in Hatfield PA, US, and Venray, Netherlands.

“This is an inspiring studio where designers, brand managers, business leaders, process engineers, converters, equipment manufacturers, materials suppliers, and technical experts come together to harness their collective creative power and expertise, says Kevin Putman Jr, President/CEO of Penn Color.

Located at the Singapore Science Park (SSP), a lively hub for R&D and technology in Asia that is home to over 350 multinationals, companies, and laboratories, the Singapore Technology Centre was designed by DP Design.

DP Design is a company headquartered in Singapore, and involved in the creation of some of Singapore’s most recognisable buildings, including Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Paragon Shopping Centre, Orchard Central, Yotel Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa and Our Tampines Hub Library, as well as The Dubai Mall in UAE, Emaar Square Mall in Turkey, and Cinemaxx Junior in Indonesia.

BASF breaks ground on MDI capacity expansion project in US

In other news, German materials firm BASF has broken ground on the third and final phase of the methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) expansion project at its site in Geismar, Louisiana, announced in July 2022. The company will increase production capacity to approximately 600,000 tonnes/year by the middle of the decade to support the ongoing growth of its North American MDI customers.

The investment for this final expansion phase, which takes place from 2022 to 2025, amounts to US$780 million. Including the first and second phases, the investment volume totals around US$1 billion, making the MDI expansion project BASF’s largest wholly owned investment in North America.

Kicked off in 2018, the expansion project follows a staggered approach. First, a new MDI synthesis unit was put in operation in October of 2020. The second phase, which started operations in 2021, expanded several existing upstream units. The third and final phase will add new upstream units and a splitter. Leveraging state-of-the-art technology, the expansion will showcase the highest safety standards combined with advanced digitalisation in its operations, says BASF.

BASF welcomed Clay Schexnayder, Speaker of the House for the Louisiana State Legislature for a ceremonial ‘tilling-of-the soil’ to officially mark the groundbreaking of the final phase of the expansion.

“We are committed to continuing the success story together with our North American MDI customers,” said Stefan Doerr, Senior Vice President, Monomers North America. “BASF is investing to support our customers in various industries with significant growth potential in MDI applications, including transportation, automotive, footwear and furniture.”


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