Wanhua Chemical Completes Site Selection of American Manufacturing Base
To meet the growing demands for MDI in North America and better serve local customers, Wanhua Chemical announced the company has decided to develop its new $1.25 billion American chemical manufacturing complex in Convent, St. James Parish, Louisiana.
The new MDI plant has a capacity of 400 kilotons per year and will generate 1,000construction jobs at peak activity, also create 170 new direct jobs with another 1,060new indirect jobs. This project is set to start construction in 2019 and is anticipated to go into operation in 2021.
Wanhua Chemical is a global leader in the supply and marketing of isocyanate products to the urethane raw material markets of Asia, Europe and the Americas. It currently owns and operates fully integrated MDI manufacturing complexes in Yantai, Ningbo and Zhuhai, China and Kazincbarcika, Hungary. It has also set up subsidiaries and offices in over ten countries and regions to provide quality products and technical services to customers all over the world.
Wanhua Chemical established a U.S. sales and marketing office in 2006 in Philadelphia, to serve and expand the North American market. With nearly a decade of overseas business operations experience, in 2014, the company set up its U.S. regional headquarters and North American technical service center, with more local hires. Company executives have expressed to the public about Wanhua’s plan and commitment to bring manufacturing to the U.S. on multiple occasions. In order to do so, an American Plant Investment Project Team was created in 2013 for design, permitting, construction and operation of a U.S.-based and fully integrated 400 kt/y MDI manufacturing plant. Over the years, the team evaluated potential site locations throughout the U.S. Due to its advantages of existing infrastructure, including access to competitive feedstock resources, as well as the distribution infrastructure and a skilled and well-trained workforce, Convent, Louisiana was eventually selected.
In North America, the MDI based polyurethane market has been growing positively with opportunities especially in construction, automotive, appliances and adhesives fields. More MDI capacity would be needed over the next few years to keep up with demand.
Once operating at full capacity, Wanhua’s new plant will ensure the capability to efficiently supply MDI customers across the Americas. In addition to the local production facility, the excellent supply chain logistics, existing infrastructure, and comprehensive technical and customer support services from Wanhua North American Technical Center are all making a contribution to supply stability, resource efficiency, sustainable operations and customer satisfaction, which leads Wanhua to become a regional and local preferred provider.