Encouraged by low-cost shale gas, Huntsman Corp. plans to build a 400,000-metric-ton-per-year methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) plant in Geismar, La. The company has already commenced engineering on the project, which it hopes will open in 2018. The expansion is in addition to an ongoing MDI expansion at the site that will increase capacity 10% to 500,000 metric tons next year. MDI reacts with polyols to make polyurethane materials such as adhesives and insulation. “Shale gas has significantly improved the economics of investing in the U.S.,” says Anthony P. Hankins, president of Huntsman Polyurethanes.