11-Dec-2000 - Bayer AG

Bayer doubles HDI production to 60,000 tpa

Bayer AG is to invest around EUR 48 million to expand its hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) capacities. A new building is currently under construction on a 3,000-square-meter site. The 35 meter-tall production facility with its adjacent tank farm is to go on stream in mid-2002 and will double the current capacity to 60,000 tpa. The company processes HDI – an important precursor for coating raw materials – into Desmodur® N, predominantly in Leverkusen and Dormagen. The largest field of application for these aliphatic polyisocyanates is in automotive coatings, but polyurethane systems are also being used increasingly in the construction sector and in the wood and furniture industry. The demands made on surface coatings with regard to appearance, chemical and mechanical resistance, lightfastness and weather stability are constantly growing. As a result, demand is mounting for aliphatic polyisocyanates for the formulation of high-performance polyurethane coatings. The Desmodur N grades based on HDI are the classic lightfast crosslinking agents for two-component polyurethane systems. Bayer produces these coating raw materials not only at its German sites in Leverkusen and Dormagen, but also in the United States, Brazil and Japan. Another production site in Asia is currently at the planning stage. According to Bernd Steinhilber, head of Industrial Coatings in Bayer's Coatings and Colorants Business Group, the main arguments for the expansion of the HDI facility in Leverkusen were "the good infrastructure of the site and its central position within Europe." In addition, the complete infrastructure of the existing HDI production plant can be used, because the two facilities will be separated only by a road running between them.

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