Bayer MaterialScience has begun construction of a multipurpose production plant for polyurethane coating raw materials at Chempark Leverkusen. The products hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) and isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI) are used primarily for high-quality and environmentally friendly automotive and industrial coatings. The company is investing roughly EUR 35 million in the expansion of its production capacities, thus strengthening the site and securing jobs at the same time. The plant is scheduled to come on stream in fall 2013.
“In keeping with our mission statement, Science For A Better Life, our company develops innovative and sustainable solutions as answers to global megatrends,” said Bayer CEO Dr. Marijn Dekkers in Leverkusen on Friday. One example is increasing mobility around the world, resulting in rising demand for high-performance automotive coatings. With this investment, Bayer underscores its commitment to the Leverkusen site and to our region.” The CEO stressed that the new plant is just one element of the company’s investment planning. “At Bayer MaterialScience alone, we intend to invest at least EUR 700 million in capital expenditures in Germany over the next three years,” said Dekkers.
“We must adjust our capacities accordingly if we are to meet the rising demand for coating and adhesive raw materials,” said Daniel Meyer, Head of the Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties Business Unit and member of the Executive Committee of Bayer MaterialScience. “We are therefore making targeted investments in the individual regions in order to maintain or further expand our leading market position.”
The new multipurpose plant will be integrated into existing HDI and IPDI production at the Leverkusen site and uses modern and innovative process technologies for the efficient production of both raw materials. This will enable the company to supply its customers even more flexibly and quickly than before.
“This investment is a commitment by Bayer to Germany as its home site,” said Thomas de Win, Chairman of the Bayer Central Works Council. “The high-tech facility will also enhance the competitiveness of the Leverkusen site, including internationally, due not least to the fact that we have an extremely well-trained workforce here in the region that can operate such a facility professionally and safely. This is further evidence that training is worthwhile and pays off.”
One important area of application for both raw materials is high-quality polyurethane coatings for automotive finishing. Given increasing individual transportation worldwide, there is a demand for high-performance and durable coatings that are also environmentally friendly. Bayer MaterialScience has developed innovative 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.