Expansions: Covestro expands capacity for TPU films in Germany; Tosoh to build MDI splitter in Vietnam

 Covestro expands capacity for TPU films in Germany

German materials firm Covestro has expanded its production capacities for thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films in the Platilon range, as well as the associated infrastructure and logistics in Bomlitz, Lower Saxony, Germany.

This site of Epurex Films, a wholly owned subsidiary of Covestro, houses R&D, application development and production for the semi-finished products. The company has invested a low double-digit million Euro amount in the expansion of the R&D for TPU films.

 Covestro expands capacity for TPU films in Germany

The new capacity is intended to meet the growing global demand for multilayer TPU films. They are used in automotive interiors and construction, among other applications. Breathable, water-impermeable specialty films have also proven their worth in wound care and outdoor clothing.

TPU Multilayer Films from Bomlitz are for example used for wound dressings.

"With this capacity expansion, we are strengthening our Bomlitz site and our position as a leading supplier of technical specialty films," said Dr. Thorsten Dreier, Covestro's Chief Technology Officer, at the inauguration. "At the same time, we are investing in promising technologies and applications and creating new jobs."

For Aleta Richards, global head of the Specialty Films business entity, the expansion offers opportunities to respond even better to individual customer needs and offer more sustainable products. "For some time now, we have also been developing customer-specific solutions with films made from alternative raw materials, as we are also seeing increasing demand in this area. The development and production of partially biobased products is therefore to become a new focus at the Bomlitz site."

Covestro is fully geared toward the circular economy and aims to become climate-neutral by 2035. In 2022 the Bomlitz site has switched its power supply completely to green electricity. Epurex Films is one of Covestro's three competence centers for specialty films in Germany, along with Leverkusen and Dormagen.

Tosoh to build MDI splitter in Vietnam

In other news, Japanese chemical producer Tosoh has plans to build a methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) splitter in south Vietnam's Ba Ria–Vung Tau province, targeting to begin commercial operations by 2026.

Tosoh plans to operate the splitter, which will have manufacturing capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year of monomeric and polymeric MDIs, using crude MDI as a feedstock. MDI is used as feedstock to produce polyurethane. It aims to start construction from November 2024 and complete the splitter by June 2026.

The company will bring the crude MDI from Japan to the splitter in Vietnam. Tosoh produces 400,000 tonnes/year of crude MDI at its Nanyo plant in south Japan's Yamaguchi prefecture.

Tosoh has an 85,000-tonne/year splitter in China and another at its Nanyo plant of undisclosed output capacity, although the annual production is 400,000 tonnes. Its MDI production will be unchanged even after the launch of the Vietnamese splitter, as Tosoh plans to modify manufacturing in Japan and China based on demand.

It also plans to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary Tosoh Vietnam Polyurethane by January next year to enhance MDI sales in southeast Asia.


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