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Plastics supply news: Bayer boosting PC capacity in Europe

Plastics and chemicals supplier Bayer MaterialScience has announced its intent to spend about €90 million to boost the company's polycarbonate capacity in Europe. The investment eventually will bring total annual capacity of its plant in Uerdingen, Germany to 400,000 tons, about 70 kilotonnes more than at present.

Bayer MaterialScience (Leverkusen) is one of the world's largest suppliers of polycarbonate, with others including Sabic Innovative Plastics, LG Chem and Mitsubishi. Bayer says it will gradually increase the Uerdingen site's capacity over the next four years in stepped increases. "Global demand for polycarbonate has increased considerably, with the strongest growth in Asia/Pacific, particularly in China. But there is also increased demand in Europe where the material's versatility and other properties make it an ideal material for a variety of applications, for example in the automotive industry, where it is used to make vehicles lighter and more energy efficient. For Europe, we expect an average (demand) growth of 5%," said Günter Hilken, head of polycarbonates at Bayer MaterialScience, in a company release. There is also increasing demand for polycarbonate in other industries such as furniture and medical applications.

Earlier this year Bayer MaterialScience LLC, the U.S. branch of the supplier, announced it had expanded PC film production at its South Deerfield, MA plant in response to growing demand for the product in a range of applications, including instrument panels, trade show displays, membrane switches, control panels, and decals.

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