BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany) has increased its global annual capacity for the production of the chemical intermediate PolyTHF (chemical name: polytetra-methylene ether glycol (PTMEG)) from 185,000 metric tons to 250,000 metric tons. The material is a key input for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) used to make hoses, films and cable sheathing.
Other applications include thermoplastic polyetheresters, polyetheramides, cast elastomers for the production of wheels for skateboards and inline skates, while the main application is as a raw material to manufacture elastic spandex fibers for a large variety of textiles, including underwear, outerwear, sportswear and swimsuits.
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, LA; 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.