BASF Increases Global PolyTHF Capacity
BASF has increased its global annual capacity for the production of the chemical intermediate PolyTHF® (chemical name: polytetramethylene ether glycol – PTMEG) from 185,000 metric tons to 250,000 metric tons. The company has continuously developed and expanded its production processes. BASF also took measures to modernize and enhance the efficiency of its plants and ensured 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 the world’s most important and the only global supplier of PolyTHF and supports its customers’ growth in all regions with local manufacturing capabilities at its sites in Geismar, Louisiana, USA; Ludwigshafen, Germany; Ulsan, Korea; and Caojing, China.
“By expanding our PolyTHF capacities, we are moving in line with our customers’ steadily growing demand. We will continue to support our customers in the future around the world as a reliable partner,” said Sanjeev Gandhi, President, BASF Intermediates division, and added, “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.