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Bayer Polymers plans to restructure its polyurethanes (PU) business

Published on 2002-12-23. Author : SpecialChem


Bayer Polymers plans to restructure its polyurethanes (PU) business with the closure of small, inefficient plants. It is part of a wider restructuring at Bayer Polymers.

Bayer is in talks with Shell, to dissolve their 50-50 Bayer Shell Isocyanates joint venture. That may result in the closure of the jv's Antwerp complex, where 30 000 m.t of methylene di-para-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) and toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) are produced each year. A decision will be made in the weeks to come. Another closure may concern the plant located at Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. This plant produces 40000m.t of TDI each year. A decision on that unit is expected by year-end, Bayer says.

"We need two to three years to restructure our PU business; we have some minor plants that we need to streamline," says Hagen Noerenberg, Bayer Polymers' head chief. Antwerp and Coatzacoalcos are the most likely candidates for restructuring, he says. "We are unhappy with our PU margins," he adds, declining to give further details.
Bayer is one of the largest PU producers in the world and want to keep that position even after closures by focussing on investment in China.

Bayer Polymers has received the approval from the State Development and planning Commission for a PU complex at Caojing, China. This complex will produce 230 000 m.t. of MDI and 150 000 m.t. of TDI each year. China is one of Bayer's priorities.

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