By David Reed, UT EditorLeverkusen, Germany-Bayer MaterialScience AG, the world market leader for polyurethanes, is currently developing its presence in Asia, adding a systems house in India and doubling the capacity of its Bayer Jinling Polyurethane Co., Ltd unit in the People's Republic of China to 20 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa). The company's first integrated system house on the Indian subcontinent is being built on an existing Bayer site near New Delhi. With more than a billion inhabitants, India is an up-and-coming country with a dynamic economy, Bayer commented in a 30 March announcement.No capacity or investment details were released, but the unit should be in operation early in 2006, the statement indicated. Major customers for the polyurethane systems will be the automotive, domestic appliance and footwear industries, Bayer added."The main aim of our system house strategy is to tap new markets," says Peter Vanacker, head of the polyurethanes business unit at Bayer MaterialScience, in the prepared statement."With this new system house, we are looking to gain a foothold in the promising growth market in India, where demand for polyurethane is growing at over ten percent annually," added Joachim Dohm, vice president global system house integration in the polyurethanes business unit. "Many of our Indian customers are located in the New Delhi area and the founding of this new system house means we will soon be in a position to provide these clients with a more customised and flexible service," he emphasised.The new capacity at the Bayer Jinling Polyurethane unit, a joint venture between Bayer AG and Sinopec Jinling Petrochemical Corp. of Nanjing, China, is set to be in operation by the end of 2005. The original unit, in operation since 1999, had a capacity of 10 ktpa.PU systems for all major applications will become available, Bayer said, adding that the foam technology and production expertise involved was developed in its polymers R&D centre in Shanghai."