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.