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Bayer MaterialScience AG : 20 August, 2007  (Company News)
As demand for Makrolon continues to rise, Bayer MaterialScience AG is steadily increasing polycarbonate production around the world. The company will be producing 1,200,000 tons of Makrolon a year. Additional international spending of around EUR 80 million is to be invested to build up a network in Asia in the next few years, allowing the company to offer excellent technical service locally and supply customers quickly and flexibly.
The investments will be used, for example, to build additional compounding plants in China and India. Furthermore, a Color Competence Center is to be built at the compounding plant in Shanghai, which has been in production since 2005. Combined with the Polymer Research and Development Center in Pudong, Shanghai, the region will become an important center for Asian and Chinese customers.

A compounding plant with an integrated Color Competence Center is to come into operation in southern China in the first half of 2008. The next step, planned for the end of 2008, is to use the same concept to invest in Bayer MaterialScience’s new site in New Delhi (India). In this way, several locations in Asia will be added to the successful network of existing compounding plants with integrated Color Competence Centers in Filago (Italy), Newark (Ohio, United States) and Map Ta Phut (Thailand).

Thanks to these investments in China, southern China and India, Dr. Günter Hilken, head of the Polycarbonates Business Unit at Bayer MaterialScience, is convinced that his sector is well equipped to deal with whatever the future holds: ”As a solution provider we do everything in our power to provide users of plastics with optimum support during both development and production. This means we have to be close to our customers in terms of geographical location, too. We want them to benefit from our technology network and from the security and stability of a global corporation, without having to forgo fast, local service. At the same time, we offer a complete range of polycarbonate products and are the driving force behind innovation in our industry sector.”

To keep pace with market demand for Makrolon, Bayer MaterialScience increased the capacity at its existing large-scale plants by a total of 170,000 tons between 2004 and 2005. The annual capacity is split among sites in Baytown (United States) providing 260 kt, Antwerp (Belgium) 240 kt, Uerdingen (Germany) 330 kt, and Map Ta Phut (Thailand) 270 kt. Commissioning the new plants at the Shanghai integrated production site in 2006 achieved an additional annual capacity of 100 kt for the fast-growing market in Asia. Due to the continued increase in demand, this additional capacity is to be doubled during 2008. When capacities for Makrolon production are added together, Bayer MaterialScience produces 1.2 million tons of Makrolon a year, making it the biggest manufacturer of polycarbonates in the world.

Thanks to its exceptional characteristics, Makrolon is the material of choice for many high-tech applications in the electrical engineering and electronics industry, the construction sector, the automotive industry and in the field of packaging and medical products. It is practically unbreakable, lightweight, impact resistant even at low temperatures, as transparent as glass and displays a high level of heat resistance. Polycarbonate is mixed with other plastics to produce a diverse range of applications and is offered as blends. Polycarbonate films and sheets are also becoming increasingly important.
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