Leverkusen, Germany -- Bayer MaterialScience has taken the plunge and is to make speciality isocyanates in India: the group plans to invest Euro 20 million ($27 million) in a new plant to make aromatic and aliphatic polyisocyanates for coatings and adhesives, in Ankleshwar, in the north-western state of Gujurat.
The move, which comes despite the current gloomy overall economic outlook, will see the new plant start operating in 2011. "This investment underlines our commitment to India and the region," commented Dr Joachim Wolff, head of the BMS Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties (CAS) Business Unit, in a 26 March company statement. BMS said the Indian polyisocyanates development is part of a strategy to grow its polyurethanes business in India, reinforcing what BMS sees as its market leadership in polyurethane raw materials.
At Ankleshwar, BMS will produce Desmodur polyisocyanates, used for formulating PU coatings, adhesives and sealants. These will include Desmodur L for wood and furniture coating and for formulating adhesives for flexible packaging, and Desmodur N, used, said Bayer, in the automotive, industrial and plastic coating sectors.
"The coatings and adhesives sector continues to establish itself in India as its economy grows," Wolff said, adding: "The Ankleshwar investment highlights our commitment to this market and will strengthen our ability to meet demand in the future."
Wolff pointed out that, "Despite the currently weak global economic scene, we believe India holds much promise for sustainable market growth."
Bayer MaterialScience also has a polyurethane systems house in India -- its first in the country -- which was opened in Greater Noida, near New Delhi, in mid-2007.
India has few isocyanate manufacturing facilities. Its major operation is Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertiliser Co. Ltd's 17 kilotonne per annum (ktpa) toluene diisocyanate (TDI) plant to supply the flexible foam sector. The company has plans to expand this unit, located in Bharuch in Gujarat State, by adding a new 50 ktpa TDI plant.