Bayer Polymers: Asian center for high performance coating raw materials

Bayer Polymers, a division of Bayer AG, plans to expand its Caojing site near Shanghai, China, making it Bayer Polymers’ most important production facility for coating raw materials in the Asia Pacific region. Production plants for aliphatic and aromatic polyisocyanates as well as the monomer hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) will be constructed in three phases at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park. This project is being managed by Bayer Coatings Systems Shanghai Company Limited (BCSS), a wholly-owned Bayer subsidiary that develops, produces and markets raw materials for coatings and adhesives and also provides associated technical services.

“The demand for raw materials for the manufacture of high performance polyurethane coatings is growing strongly in this region. With this large-scale investment program, we aim to optimally exploit the excellent market opportunities there,” says Dr. Joachim Wolff, Senior Vice President of Global Operations Base and Modified Isocyanates (BMI) at Bayer Polymers, “We expect our coating raw materials business to continue its outstanding performance because the coatings formulated from these products satisfy highest requirements with respect to appearance, chemical resistance, mechanical strength, lightfastness and weather stability.

In April 2003, a plant with an annual capacity of 11,500 tons was brought on line for the production of the Desmodur® N line of aliphatic polyisocyanates, a segment in which Bayer Polymers holds a leading position. These raw materials are used primarily in the formulation of general industrial and automotive refinishing coatings, as well as coatings for plastics.

A production plant for the Desmodur® L line of aromatic polyisocyanates is currently under construction. These raw materials have proved ideal for the formulation of high performance polyurethane coatings, e.g. for wood and furniture. With the start of operation of this plant in late 2004, Bayer Polymers will have a total capacity of 11,000 tons for Desmodur® L products at the Caojing site, enabling Bayer Polymers to maintain its strong position in the field of low-monomer raw materials for these coating systems. Bayer Polymers’ goal is to be the first local producer of low-monomer TDI adducts in support of a Chinese government initiative to reduce the free TDI content in wood and furniture coating systems for interior applications.
The third project is the construction of a plant for the production of HDI, which is used as a raw material for aliphatic polyisocyanates. The plant will ultimately have a total capacity of 50,000 tons, with 30,000 tons available by 2006. Capacity can be expanded by roughly 20,000 tons in a second phase of construction if warranted by market growth in the region.

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