Bayer MaterialScience jv plant increases precursor capacity; used for PC

Bayer MaterialScience has brought on stream an additional chemical plant for the production of a key component for the material Apec (a high heat polycarbonate) in eastern Germany. The operator is the German-Japanese joint venture, Hi-Bis, in which Bayer MaterialScience holds a 10% interest. The remaining shares are held by the Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co (35%) and its Honshu Chemical Industry subsidiary (55%). Hi-Bis doubled the production capacity in the chemical industry centre of Bitterfeld to 10,000 tonnes/year with the roughly EUR50 million plant.

Hi-Bis produces a precursor for Apec known as special bisphenols. The company brought an initial facility for these materials on stream in 2004. It was also the first Japanese investment at all in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. The capacity expansion was made necessary by the steadily rising market demand. 17 new jobs and two trainee positions have been created.

Speaking on behalf of Bayer MaterialScience, Dr. Rainer Rettig, Head of Sales for Europe and other regions, said that Apec sales continue to grow unabated well above the rate for the entire plastics market, which is roughly 5% per year. Apec is particularly well suited for articles with demanding requirements that must withstand high temperatures. Examples include the lenses of automotive headlights, housings for luminaires or hot air nozzles in hair dryers.

Bayer MaterialScience produces Apec at its site in Antwerp, Belgium. The Bayer Group maintains an important production site in Bitterfeld, which is also home to other companies from the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.


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