In an acknowledgement that the majority of the world's polycarbonate demand stems from plastics processors in the Asia/Pacific region, and will for years to come, one of the leading suppliers of the materials, Bayer MaterialScience, is shifting the headquarters of its global polycarbonate activities from the company HQ in Germany to Shanghai. The company is investing more than €3 billion in its Shanghai facility on a number of projects, with at least a third of that in its plastics, coatings and adhesives business unit.
Bayer's polycarbonate (PC) is marketed under the Makrolon brand name. This new €1 billion in announced capital expenditures for Bayer's Shanghai plant will significantly expand the company's polyurethane (PUR) and PC capacities in China, as the supplier aims to increase its group sales in Greater China to around €5 billion by 2015. About half of those sales are to be driven by its MaterialScience group, the name for its plastics, adhesives and coatings business. To put that in perspective, Bayer MaterialScience's total FY 2009 sales were €7.5 billion, of which Greater China sales were €2.1 billion. The MaterialScience unit accounted for €1.2 billion.