Raw-materials supplier Bayer MaterialScience has begun construction of a multipurpose production plant for polyurethane coating raw materials at the company’s global hub in Leverkusen, Germany.
|Leverkusen, site of the new plant, has been Bayer MaterialScience’s hub for more than a century.|
The €35 million (about $45.5 million US) facility, at Chempark Leverkusen, will produce hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) and isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI), used primarily for industrial and automotive coatings.
The plant is scheduled to begin operation in fall 2013.
Increasing Coatings Demand
The plant will meet increasing global demand, particularly for high-performance automotive coatings, said Dr. Marijn Dekkers, Bayer CEO.
“In keeping with our mission statement, ‘Science for a Better Life,’ our company develops innovative and sustainable solutions as answers to global megatrends,” Dekkers said.
Increasing individual transportation worldwide has increased the demand for high-performance and durable coatings that are also environmentally friendly, the company said. Bayer MaterialScience has developed products for this application based on HDI and IPDI, which also enable the formulation of low-solvent coatings.
The two raw materials are also used in industrial coatings, textile coatings and adhesives.
The CEO said the new plant was just one element of the company’s investment planning. “At Bayer MaterialScience alone, we intend to invest at least €700 million (about $912 million US) in capital expenditures in Germany over the next three years,” said Dekkers.
Daniel Meyer, head of the Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties Business Unit, said the company “must adjust our capacities accordingly if we are to meet the rising demand for coating and adhesive raw materials.”
“We are therefore making targeted investments in the individual regions in order to maintain or further expand our leading market position.”
More Flexibility, Capacity
The new plant will be integrated into existing HDI and IPDI production at the Leverkusen site. Innovative process technologies for more efficient production of both raw materials will enable the company to supply its customers “even more flexibly and quickly than before,” the company said in a release.
With 2010 sales of €10.2 billion (about $13.3 billion US), Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies, serving the automotive, construction, sports and other industries. At the end of 2010, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed about 14,700 people worldwide.