Huntsman Corporation (NYSE: HUN) today announced that Sasol-Huntsman GmbH & Co. KG, its maleic anhydride production joint venture with Sasol Limited ("Sasol"), has successfully completed negotiation of project financing agreements. The project financing is non-recourse to the joint venture's parent companies and will add no debt to Huntsman's balance sheet.
The new financing will be used to expand the joint venture's maleic anhydride production site in Moers, Germany, from its existing yearly capacity of 60,000 tonnes to a new capacity of 105,000 tonnes by addition of a second world scale reactor. Like the existing reactor, the new unit will use Huntsman's proprietary technology and catalyst.
The new reactor and other major equipment is already on order, detailed engineering is under way, and the EPCM contract has been awarded. Basic engineering and site preparation were completed early last year. Start-up of the new unit is scheduled for the first quarter of 2011.
The addition of the second reactor at the Moers site, along with the planned April 2009 start-up of Huntsman's wholly-owned 45,000 tonne maleic anhydride plant in Geismar, Louisiana, will increase Huntsman's total global maleic anhydride capacity (including its joint venture) from its current capacity of 139,000 tonnes to a new capacity of 207,000 tonnes per year.
Huntsman Vice President Tom Fisher stated, "Maleic anhydride is a strategic growth product for Huntsman. We continue to expand our worldwide presence in this important product, both through joint ventures - as we are doing with Sasol in Germany - and in our wholly-owned plants in North America - as we are doing by adding our new site in Geismar to complement our existing production in Pensacola. We are committed to meeting the needs of our global customers."