US chemicals group Huntsman to build new unit in Dubai

30 May 2018

Huntsman Corporation, a global manufacturer of differentiated and specialty chemicals, has announced plans to build a new polyurethanes systems house within the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone (Jafza) in Dubai, UAE.

Targeted for completion by the second half of 2019, the new facility is aimed at strengthening Huntsman's differentiated downstream capabilities in the heart of the Middle East, said a statement from the US-based company.

The Dubai Systems House will complement the company's two existing facilities in the Middle East, in Turkey (Huntsman EMA) and Saudi Arabia (HAPC - a joint venture with the BCI Group of Companies), forming three strong pillars for growth, it stated.     

The Huntsman said its investment will boost the company's systems production capacity in the region and add a new dimension to its polyester polyol capabilities.

Tony Hankins, the president of Huntsman's Polyurethanes division, said: "This is a bold and timely investment, which will serve as a strategic platform to expand our business in the Middle East and North Africa and build our market leading position."

"It represents the next step in our plan to strengthen our downstream network. We now have 30 facilities worldwide, which provide innovative solutions in close proximity to our customers," noted Hankins.

Gulum Kabil, the general manager of Huntsman Polyurethanes' business activities in the Middle East and Turkey, will manage the new systems house.

Steen Weien Hansen, the regional VP of Polyurethanes, said: "The MDI-based systems market in the Middle East has delivered strong growth in the last five years and this trend is forecast to continue at estimated rates of 7 per cent annually."

According to Hansen, the construction of the new Dubai facility will enable the US company to supply traditional and high-end rigid polyurethane formulations from a local source.

"It will also enable us to leverage our development and production know-how in polyester polyol and polyol blends for the fast-growing flexible foam and footwear markets, as well as pre-polymers for adhesives, coatings and elastomers applications," he added.