By Liz White, UT staffLeverkusen, Germany-Bayer MaterialScience AG announced 18 Jan 2006 that it plans to set up an integrated polyurethane systems house near Bangkok in Thailand. The venture, due to start operating early in 2007, will support customers in ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia."We are looking to use the new systems house to enable us to benefit from the promising future growth in the ASEAN countries," said Frank Grunert, head of Bayer MaterialScience's Polyurethanes Business Unit in the Asia-Pacific region, in a Bayer statement. "BaySystems ASEAN is a key addition to our other systems houses in the Asia-Pacific region."The new unit will be incorporated into Bayer MaterialScience's recently announced global BaySystems network under the name BaySystems ASEAN, said BMS.BMS, which claims to be "the world market leader for polyurethanes" said this development demonstrates its commitment to expanding its network of systems houses in the Asia-Pacific region. "We'll be able to cater to our customers' needs in this region with a more customised and flexible service and we'll be right on their doorstep. We are looking to attract more customers to develop solutions with," commented Dr Joachim Dohm, vice president of BaySystems Integration in the Polyurethanes Business Unit at BMS.Meanwhile, BMS also pointed out, its Bayer Jinling Polyurethane Co. Ltd joint venture with Sinopec Jinling Petrochemical Corp. of Nanjing, China, has doubled capacity as planned. The JV's products are used in the Chinese automotive industry, as insulating materials for cooling systems, in the construction industry, for container construction and for district heating pipes. In addition, BMS said, in India, engineering work is currently in full swing for the newly established systems house BaySystems India in New Delhi, and pre-marketing activities have now started.BaySystems operations in the Asia Pacific region include a Taiwanese systems house, Bayer Polyurethanes Taiwan Ltd in Kaohsiung, while customers in Japan are served by Sumika Bayer Urethane Co. Ltd in Amagasaki..These systems house activities in Asia will benefit, said the group, from expansion of BMS's Polymer Research and Development Center (PRDC) in Pudong near Shanghai. The picture shows use of BMS's sound-absorbing flexible polyurethane foam Bayfit SA, which "significantly dampens noise levels in cars, BMS said. "