BASF has increased its global annual capacity for the production of the chemical intermediate PolyTHF (polytetra-methylene ether glycol—PTMEG) from 185,000 metric tons to 250,000 metric tons. The company has continuously developed and expanded its production processes. BASF has also taken measures to modernize and enhance the efficiency of its plants and ensure the supply of the raw materials it needs to manufacture PolyTHF. All in all, BASF invested more than 60 million euros.
BASF started up its first plant manufacturing PolyTHF at its integrated Verbund site in Ludwigshafen in 1983. Today BASF is a leading global supplier of PolyTHF and supports its customers’ growth in all regions with local manufacturing capabilities at its sites in Geismar, LA; Ludwigshafen, Germany; Ulsan, Korea; and Caojing, China
“By expanding our PolyTHF capacities, we are moving in line with our customers’ steadily growing demand,” says Sanjeev Gandhi, president, BASF Intermediates division. “We will continue to support our customers in the future around the world as a reliable partner. Growth rates at our customers and in our business are highest in the Asia/Pacific region, the world’s major PolyTHF market today.”
PolyTHF is primarily used to make elastic spandex fibers for a large variety of textiles, including underwear, outerwear, sportswear and swimsuits. It also serves as a chemical building block for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) used to make hoses, films and cable sheathing. Other applications include thermoplastic polyetheresters, polyetheramides and cast elastomers for the production of wheels for skateboards and inline skates.
The BASF Group’s Intermediates division develops, produces and markets a comprehensive portfolio of more than 600 intermediates around the world. The most important of the division’s product groups include amines, diols, polyalcohols, acids and specialties. Among other applications, intermediates are used as starting materials for coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textile fibers, detergents and crop protectants. Innovative intermediates from BASF help to improve the properties of final products and the efficiency of production processes. The ISO 9001:2000-certified Intermediates division operates plants at production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.