Patrick Thomas, CEO of Bayer MaterialScience.
Bayer MaterialScience has opened a technical center for the development premium foams. An additional production plant also was brought on stream at the site in Leverkusen for coating raw materials. The total investment in both sites has cost more than EUR 45 million, according to the group.
“This allows us to supply key industries more precisely and with higher volumes of exactly the products they need,” said Patrick Thomas, CEO of Bayer MaterialScience. “Furthermore, the company is expanding its competence in developing new applications and manufacturing processes for its materials in close collaboration with customers.”
The group is looking to make developments in polyurethane foam because of its historic focus on global requirements and necessities. Building insulation, refrigeration systems and automotive lightweighting are some specific targets for the R&D centre.
The facility is said to be equipped with the latest machines with over EUR 10 million spent on the test center alone. In the medium to long term, the company expects the global polyurethane market to continue growing at an average annual rate of about five percent.
The global market for coating and adhesive raw materials is also on a growth course, and will likely increase by an average of roughly four percent per year. To meet the rising demand, Bayer MaterialScience is expanding production capacity for the precursors HDI and IPDI, which are based on polyurethanes. The company invested a year and a half and EUR 35 million in the construction of a newly commissioned multipurpose plant in Leverkusen that can produce either of the raw materials depending on demand. The process is very environmentally compatible and highly efficient.
“With the production facility and the new technical center, we have set the course for strengthening our leading position as a developer and manufacturer of premium, chemistry-based materials,” said Thomas. “Despite the current challenges, such as high energy and raw material costs and rising global competition, Bayer MaterialScience continues to have good prospects for long-term, profitable growth.”