Bayer MaterialScience is set to invest some U.S. $120 million into its Baytown, Texas, site. Baytown, which celebrates 40 years of manufacturing success this year, is the company’s largest manufacturing facility in the United States and is a keystone of Bayer MaterialScience’s global manufacturing strategy.
“Our Baytown plant is a critical asset in the Bayer MaterialScience global portfolio,” said Dr. Tony Van Osselaer, member of the Executive Committee of Bayer MaterialScience and head of Industrial Operations. “It is a first-rate manufacturing facility and these significant investments are our commitment to keeping it fit for the future.”
The planned U.S. $120 million investment includes:
- Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) – environmental upgrades, reliability improvements and minor debottlenecking.
- Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) – improved process technology, environmental upgrades, and energy efficiency and reliability improvements that will increase productivity.
- Polycarbonate – reliability upgrades and quality improvements for advanced optical applications.
Additional investments are designed to improve the reliability of the infrastructure throughout the site.
“These comprehensive upgrades will support the growth we are anticipating in the NAFTA region,” said Greg Babe, president and CEO of Bayer Corporation and Bayer MaterialScience LLC.
Commenting on the investments, Rod Herrick, Baytown general plant manager, said, “Reliability and safety are our priorities. A safe plant is a more reliable plant. In 2010, Bayer MaterialScience Baytown employees achieved their safest record in the 40-year history of the plant. These investments are a tribute to them as well as to the ongoing performance of the site.”
MDI and TDI are highly versatile chemicals used to produce polyurethanes used in flexible foam for the furniture and automotive industries; rigid and spray foams for insulation in the construction industry; and coatings, adhesives, and sealants. Polycarbonate is used in innovative applications including automotive headlamp lenses, optical data storage (CDs and DVDs), medical devices and shatter-resistant optical lenses.
Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,400 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2010 sales of 10.2 billion euros. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC’s business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.