Bayer closes polycarbonate sheet plants in Germany and China

David Eldridge
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: June 30, 2014 1:32 pm ET
Updated: June 30, 2014 4:25 pm ET

Image By: Bayer MaterialScience

Related to this story

Topics Materials, China, Europe, Construction, Film & Sheet, Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations Bayer MaterialScience LLC

Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has announced a consolidation of its polycarbonate sheet business, involving plant closures and divestment in Europe and the Asia-Pacific.

In Europe, the group is closing its PC sheet site in Darmstadt, Germany, while in China it will consolidate sheet production at the Guangzhou site and close its Beijing site. BMS also plans to sell its sheet business in Australia and New Zealand, along with the Laserlite brand name.

In a news release, BMS said: “Behind all of these consolidation measures is the current business situation. Market development in the overall polycarbonate business has changed dramatically in recent years, with new competitors and overcapacities exacerbated by insufficient demand from the customer industries. In light of this difficult situation, Bayer MaterialScience conducted a thorough review of its polycarbonate business model, which includes the global sheet business.”

The review led to the decision that consolidation was necessary “to ensure the long-term viability of the business as a whole and to remain competitive,” the group said.

Expressing optimism about the future of the group’s PC business, Markus Steilemann, head of the polycarbonates business unit, said: “The demand for the high-performance plastic polycarbonate continues to grow year-to-year and worldwide at rates that will soon wipe out the current overcapacities. By adjusting our alignment, we are strengthening our leading market position.”

As a result of the changes, the group’s PC sheet business will reduce its total number of facilities from 10 to seven in Europe, Asia and North America. Replying to questions from European Plastics News, BMS would not reveal its PC sheet capacity but said its annual PC resin production capacity is 1.3 million metric tons.

“The polycarbonate resin business remains untouched by the current consolidation of our global sheet production,” said BMS in its replies to EPN.

Image By: Bayer MaterialScience Bayer's Makrolon PC sheet is using in the roof of the stadium in Natal, Brazil, being used in World Cup games.

The future of BMS, which includes polyurethanes as well as PC, has been the subject of speculation, with some observers suggesting the Bayer group is looking to sell all or part of the division.

However, BMS said it was not speaking to other companies about selling its two other PC sheet plants in Europe.

“We believe that the business with polycarbonate sheets in Europe remains attractive on the whole. Our analysis has shown that certain sheet businesses, such as that in Australia and New Zealand, are niche operations for BMS that can be better served by operators with a more suitable business model to ensure growth and a sustainable future. We therefore decided to divest our operations there. This is not in discussion for Europe,” the company said.

The Darmstadt closure affects 90 employees. Customers in Europe will continue to be supplied from sheet plants in Nera Montoro, Italy, and Tielt, Belgium.

The decision to close Darmstadt was “based on a thorough analysis of a number of economic and commercial criteria. The result of the analysis showed the site in Nera Montoro to be the most economically viable one,” BMS said.

Bayer’s Makrolon PC sheet is used in building applications, including canopies, facades, security windows, shelters and skylights. A high-profile application for Makrolon is as a roofing material for the Arena das Dunas (The Stadium of the Dunes) in the coastal city of Natal, Brazil, which is being used for matches in the World Cup.


Comments

Bayer closes polycarbonate sheet plants in Germany and China

David Eldridge
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: June 30, 2014 1:32 pm ET
Updated: June 30, 2014 4:25 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Westlake Chemical Partners has strong stock opening

August 1, 2014 10:13 am ET

Westlake Chemical Partners LP debuted July 31 on the New York Stock Exchange at $24 per share, but jumped 28 percent by the end of the day.    More

LLDPE, PP sales grow in US, Canada

August 1, 2014 10:30 am ET

Other commodity resins lagged behind their rates from the first half of the previous year.    More

Image

Residential construction set for steady growth

July 31, 2014 10:27 am ET

After a sluggish start to the year, activity levels in the residential construction sector gained momentum in the second quarter of this year. The...    More

Image

Keep up with China's rapid changes

July 31, 2014 10:33 am ET

In many ways, 1989 was a very special year in history. Plastics News was launched in Akron. Half a world away, China was trying to carry on economic...    More

Image

Pressure is on to replace aging gas pipes

July 30, 2014 2:47 pm ET

Polyethylene is the plastic replacement material of choice for modernizing the natural gas distribution system — so much so some are concerned a...    More

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events