Bayer MaterialScience to decide new PC unit's site by year-end

22 June 2010 05:12  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) will make a decision on whether to build a new polycarbonate plant either in Thailand or China by the end of this year, the company’s CEO said on Tuesday.

The start up would be between 2013 and 2014 and the capacity would be 200,000-300,000 tonnes/year, said Patrick Thomas, who was speaking at a news conference to officially open the German major's functional films research centre in Singapore.

“Our global PC capacity is now fully occupied. We have brought back on stream 120,000.year of capacity which we idled 12 months ago during the economic crisis,” Thomas said.

“Asia dominates the market and accounts for around 65% of worldwide PC demand, compared with 50% before the crisis,” he added.

Thomas confessed that BMS had been surprised by the resilience of the optical data storage market for PC.

“We had expected a collapse, but we have instead seen strong growth in the emerging markets such as Latin America, Middle East and India for back-catalogue film on DVDs.”

Thomas said despite Thailand’s recent political problems, he was not concerned about sovereign risk.

He said he also believed that environmental problems that had halted investments in the country’s Mab Ta Phut petrochemical complex would be resolved.

BMS has about 240,000 tonnes of PC capacity at Mab Ta Phut and slightly more than 200,000 tonnes/year capacity at Caojing in Shanghai, China.

Thomas said that since the economic crisis, demand for all BMS products had shrunk by 10% in the US and by 5% in Europe, but had grown by 30% in Asia.

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By: John Richardson
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