Huntsman Joint Venture to Pursue Major Maleic Anhydride Expansion in Germany
THE WOODLANDS, Texas, April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sasol-Huntsman GmbH & Co. KG, a 50/50 joint venture between affiliates of Huntsman Corporation (NYSE: HUN) and Sasol Limited located in Moers, Germany, today announced plans to pursue the expansion of its maleic anhydride manufacturing capacity by 45,000 mt. The new capacity, which is expected to be on-line in first quarter 2011, will increase Sasol-Huntsman's production capacity by 75%, to 105,000 mt. The expansion will be funded by the joint venture's internal cash flow and its non-recourse financing.
The expansion will be achieved via construction of a second world scale 45 kt reactor and purification section on the same site as the existing plant. However, the new reactor and purification section will be operated independently from the existing plant to ensure continuous product flow without production interruption, even during scheduled T & I shutdowns and catalyst re-packs.
Basic engineering and site preparation are complete. The reactor and selected other major equipment are scheduled to be ordered in early May, and the EPCM contract to be awarded in June.
The expanded plant will make use of the infrastructure on the Sasol Solvents Moers site, providing synergies for the Sasol-Huntsman joint venture as well as for Sasol.
The new plant's design is similar to Huntsman's 45 kt plant under construction in Geismar (USA), which is expected to be operational in late 2008.
Sasol-Huntsman Managing Director, Rolf Giessel, commented, "The robust demand for maleic anhydride makes it incumbent upon us to lead the way in meeting our global customers' long-term requirements. Furthermore, this investment will help to maintain our leading position in Europe."
Maleic Anhydride is the building block for unsaturated polyester resins, used mainly in fibreglass reinforced resins for construction, automotive and marine products. It is also used in formulations for lube oil additives, food additives, paper chemicals, epoxies, as well as in a variety of other applications.
Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. Its operating companies manufacture products for a variety of global industries, including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging. Originally known for pioneering innovations in packaging and, later, for rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, Huntsman today has 13,000 employees and operates from multiple locations worldwide. The Company had 2007 revenues of approximately $10 billion. For more information about Huntsman, please visit the company's website at http://www.huntsman.com.
Forward Looking Statements:
Statements in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's current beliefs and expectations. The forward-looking statements in this release are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances and involve risks and uncertainties that may affect the company's operations, markets, products, services, prices and other factors as discussed in the Huntsman companies' filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Significant risks and uncertainties may relate to, but are not limited to, financial, economic, competitive, environmental, political, legal, regulatory and technological factors. In addition, the completion of any transactions described in this release is subject to a number of uncertainties and closing will be subject to approvals and other customary conditions. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that such transactions will be completed or that the company's expectations will be realized. The company assumes no obligation to provide revisions to any forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by applicable laws.
SOURCE Huntsman Corporation
CONTACT: Media, Russ Stolle of Huntsman Corporation, +1-281-719-6624; or
Investor Relations, John Heskett, +1-801-584-5768, for Huntsman Corporation
Web site: http://www.huntsman.com