BAYTOWN, TEXAS - Bayer Corp. announced April 3 it intends to double its production capacity for methylene diisocyanate with a new complex in Baytown. Bayer, based in Pittsburgh, announced the addition in conjunction with ceremonies to mark its name change in North America from Miles Inc.
Manfred Schneider, chief executive officer of parent company Bayer AG of Leverkusen, Germany, said the Baytown facility will be the largest MDI production complex in the world when it is completed in 1998. It will add more than 300 million pounds to the company's annual capacity.
MDI is a key ingredient used to make rigid or hard, flexible or soft polyurethane foams, fibers, coatings and other molded solids.
The facility will supply MDI for North American and other markets, Tom Harrick, senior vice president for polyurethanes, said in an April 3 telephone interview.
Harrick said the new capacity will allow Bayer to do several things that it could not do before.
Bayer intends to reduce imports of MDI from Germany as the new facility is put into production. With the new capacity, the company will become the largest producer of MDI-based polyurethanes in North America, according to Harrick.
Harrick said the expansion will create substantial overcapacity in the U.S. market for MDI-based polyurethanes. He said Bayer will export some of that extra capacity.
Bayer also intends to move into new markets and to gain market share in providing MDI-based polyurethanes as materials for wood binders, for seats and energy absorbing foams in automotive applications and for insulation products for the construction and transportation industries.