Huntsman to Build PU Plant in Dubai
US chemical producer Huntsman has announced it will build a new polyurethanes systems house in the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone (Jafza) of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The facility is expected to go on stream in the second half of 2019.
Although no capacity has been announced, Huntsman said the investment will boost its systems production capacity in the region while at the same time adding “a new dimension” to its polyester polyol capabilities.
Specifically, the company said the new plant is intended to strengthen its differentiated downstream capabilities in the heart of the Middle East, complementing existing facilities in Turkey (Huntsman EMA) and at its Saudi Arabian joint venture with the BCI Group, Huntsman Arabian Polyol Company (HAPC).
Tony Hankins, president of the Polyurethanes division, said the new systems house, which will be run by Gulum Kabil, general manager of the chemical producer’s PU business activities in the Middle East and Turkey, represents the next step in its plan to strengthen its downstream network.
Huntsman currently has 30 PU systems houses worldwide. The company is also a major producer of polyurethane starting material MDI, with facilities in the US, China and the Netherlands.
Steen Weien Hansen, regional vice president of Polyurethanes, said the Dubai facility will enable the company to supply traditional and high-end rigid polyurethane formulations from a local source. Huntsman will also be able to leverage its development and production know-how in polyester polyol and polyol blends for the fast-growing flexible foam and footwear markets as well as pre-polymers for adhesives, coatings and elastomers applications, he added.
According to Hansen, the MDI-based systems market in the Middle East has delivered strong growth in the past five years and this trend is forecast to continue at estimated rates of 7% annually.