InterviewCorrected: Global PC growth will be double GDP rate - Bayer

19 November 2009 17:19  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS news story headlined “Global PC growth will be double Asia's GDP rate - Bayer” dated 19 November 2009, please read in the headline … will be double GDP rate … instead of … double Asia's GDP rate…. Please read in the first paragraph … will grow at 5-6% annually … instead of … at double the rate of Asia's GDP…. A corrected story follows.

By Fanny Zhang

GUANGZHOU (ICIS news)--The global polycarbonate (PC) industry will grow at 5-6% annually, with China being the growth engine, a company executive at Bayer MaterialScience said on Thursday.

“We expect that polycarbonate as a material will grow at double-GDP rate and the growth will be again substantially driven by Asia Pacific and more specifically, China,” said Dr Gunter Hilken, global head of Bayer’s polycarbonates business, speaking on the sidelines of the company’s inauguration ceremony of its colour competence and design centre (CCDC) in Guangzhou, south China.

“Polycarbonate applications for CDs and DVDs have been shrinking, but those in IT and electronics areas have seen continuous growth,” Hilken said.

Bayer has two PC lines, each with a 100,000 tonnes/year capacity, in Caojing, Shanghai. The newest line, which was finished late last year, has already started operating, Hilken said, adding that Bayer would not publish the operating rates of any individual line.

“We are operating the two lines alongside, with demand of the market base. Due to the global economic situation, Bayer made a decision earlier in the year to mothball one third of its entire 1.3m tonne/year PC capacity.

"At the current state, demand has not improved much and we are mothballing 200,000 tonne/year of total capacity,” Hilken said.

The CCDC provides tailored products and solutions for polycarbonate compounds, ranging from colour matching and small-scale production, to the broad range of technical services to support injection-molding and compounding processes, the company said in a press release.

Hilken said the facility was part of Bayer’s vision to move the PC businesses further downstream – right into the growth markets and closer to local customers.

He added that there was a 20,000 tonne/year PC plant at the same site to support the centre which Bayer would operate in line with market demand.

Worldwide, Bayer has other CCDC facilities in the USA, Italy, Germany and Thailand and a new facility in India has been scheduled to come on-stream in 2010, Hilken said.

Bayer MaterialScience is expected to see year on year of growth in its PC business in the fourth quarter of 2009. Its PC business unit posted a year-on-year decline of 28% for the first three quarters, but that decline slowed to 18% in the third quarter, he said.

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By: Fanny Zhang
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