LEVERKUSEN, Germany - Bayer MaterialScience AG announces the start of construction of polyurethane and coatings raw materials production plants near Shanghai, with the plants scheduled to begin production in 2006. The company said it would invest approximately $200 million to build facilities to produce hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) and diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park in Caojing.

The HDI project involves a total capacity of up to 50,000 tons per year, making the Caojing plant the biggest Bayer production site for coatings materials in Asia-Pacific. HDI is a precursor product for aliphatic polyisocyanates, which are used as raw materials in polyurethane-based coatings. Key uses include automotive, industrial and plastics coatings.

The company said MDI production capacity in Caojing would go on stream in mid-2006, with an initial capacity of 80,000 tons per year. A production facility for toluene diisocyanate (TDI) with an annual production capacity of 160,000 tons per year is also planned, with startup anticipated in 2009.