Huntsman Corporation, the world's largest privately-held chemical firm, aims to start construction by mid-year of a US$1 billion complex in China that will dramatically increase its production of plastic materials used for vehicle components.

The plant, awaiting approval from China's ruling cabinet, will make 160,000 tonnes of crude methylene diisocyanate (MDI) and 130,000 tonnes of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) a year.

TDI and MDI are key components in the production of the versatile plastic polyurethane, commonly used in the motor manufacturing industry.