Bayer AG, Leverkusen, Germany, announced plans to build production facilities for polyurethane coatings raw materials near Shanghai, China, with construction scheduled to begin this spring on the $110 million project. The project’s first phase will result in TDI- and HDI-based polyisocyanates capacity totaling 11,500 tons per year, with production expected to begin in 2003. A later expansion will increase the capacity to 20,000 tons per year, the company said. The second phase of the total project calls for construction of a $60 million HDI precursor production facility. The company also said it will open a technical service center for polymers in Shanghai in mid-2001. Bayer said the expansions are the result of continued rapid growth in global demand for materials used in high-performance polyurethane coatings such as automotive finishes, plastics coatings and wood and furniture finishes.