New aniline plant for Covestro

Friday 23 11 2018

More good news for the Antwerp chemicals hub. The German company Covestro is to invest over 300 million euros in its Antwerp site, for construction of a new aniline production plant. This will generate new jobs and further establish the company's presence in Antwerp.

Covestro is investing in a new production plant for aniline, an important precursor material for numerous chemical products including MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate). The latter in turn is a precursor for hard polyurethane foam, used among other things for thermal insulation of buildings and insulation in the cold chain. The new plant is expected to enter service in 2022 and will create additional employment.

"Our site in Antwerp plays a crucial role in the Covestro supply and production network, and this investment ensures that it will continue to fulfil this role in future," said Volker Weintritt, Managing Director of Covestro in Antwerpen. "The expansion of our aniline production will ensure a sustainable, efficient supply for our European MDI network, including our Spanish plant in Tarragona, where the MDI production capacity will also be ramped up.

As the European hub for aniline the Antwerp facility benefits from the adjacent infrastructure and logistics in the heart of the port, where Covestro also has direct access to the necessary raw materials. The design and the process technology for the new unit will be based on the best available technology from Covestro in terms of process safety and energy efficiency.

Powerful magnet

This is the third big announcement for the Antwerp chemical cluster in just a few weeks. Last month Borealis announced a 1 billion euro investment for construction of a new propylene plant, while Sea-Mol chose Antwerp for construction of a tank storage terminal.

The port of Antwerp continues to have a great attraction for investors, thus confirming and expanding its role as the largest chemical cluster in Europe. The significance of these investments in our chemical cluster is very great, not only for our port but also for the entire European industrial fabric, as our chemical industry provides the basic raw materials for all other branches of industry. Thanks to the many decades of collaboration between our companies they have developed a unique network, so that the port of Antwerp now offers a platform for world players that can be found nowhere else.

Golden anniversary for chemical giants Evonik and Gunvor Petroleum Antwerpen

The chemical giants are faithful customers of the port, clear evidence that international players establish themselves here because they are confident of being able to develop a sustainable future with us.

This month Evonik is celebrating its 50th anniversary in Antwerp. This German subsidiary is an important pillar of the port. Innovation and investment have been constant themes throughout its 50 years of presence and growth here. In the future the Evonik site will continue to play a strategic role in the development of speciality chemicals in Europe.

And in September this year the oil refinery Gunvor Petroleum Antwerpen (GPA) also celebrated its jubilee. GPA combines the advantages of the location of the port of Antwerp with the flexibility of its facilities and the know-how of its personnel.