Differentiated chemicals manufacturer Huntsman Corp. said it will increase capacity at its Geismar, LA, worldscale methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) facilities. Capacity will be increased by 50,000 tons to 500,000 tons using improved process technology developed by Huntsman and will enable the company to support growth of its key customers and leverage the advantages of the Geismar site and its access to U.S. shale gas, strong logistics base and excellent integration, Huntsman said. “The benefits of U.S. shale gas have significantly improved the economics of investing in U.S. facilities, and Huntsman has a number of other investments planned which will take advantage of lower-cost natural gas,” said Anthony Hankins, president of Huntsman polyurethanes. The new capacity is expected to come on-stream in 2014 and will further consolidate Huntsman’s position as the leading MDI producer in the Americas region, the company said. Huntsman also said it will upgrade its downstream specialties production capability at its Rotterdam, the Netherlands site. The cost of the two projects is $135 million.

Enterprise Products Partners LP is holding an open commitment period through April 18 to solicit long-term transportation agreements with interested shippers for transportation of diluent-quality natural gasoline from its Mont Belvieu, TX, liquids storage complex to several potential delivery points in and around the Chicago area, including potential connections to the Southern Lights and Cochin pipelines. Production of light crude oil and natural gas liquids has been on the rise in the nearby Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas and elsewhere. The final delivery point(s) will be determined after evaluating the binding commitments received, Enterprise said. For information, contact Patrick Tucker at (713) 381-5429, or pktucker@eprod.com.