Zhuhai, China – Covestro is to build a new thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) production plant in Zhuhai, China. The new site will be the Germany-based company’s largest TPU production site across all of its international facilities. The company says it is making an investment in the “low three-digit million Euro range”, its largest ever investment into its TPU business unit.
Covestro CCO Sucheta Govil said: “This investment shows our ongoing commitment to growth in our Solutions & Specialties business entities
“With this new plant for TPU we want to capture the expected fast and high market growth of the TPU market globally, and especially in Asia and China. The production site will be able to serve both the growing Asian markets, as well as demand in Europe and North America.”
The plant, located in the Zhuhai Gaolan Port Economic Development Zone in Guangdong province, is to be built in three phases. The first phase is expected to be operational by the end of 2025, giving production capacity of about 30kT per year, and creating about 80 new jobs. Investment in the first phase construction is in the “mid double-digit million Euro range”. Once the third phase is complete – with construction expected to complete by 2033 – the site will cover 45,000m2 and have a production capacity approaching 120kT annually.
“I’m delighted to share this important news for our Business Entity. This new plant will enable us to be in close proximity to our customers and the value chains in the IT, consumer electronics, footwear and other industries”, said Dr Andrea Maier-Richter, head of TPU at Covestro.
“The majority of the TPU market and its growth prospects are in Asia and particularly in China. Our investment there shows our clear intention: We want to remain successful with our customers and partners in the long run.”
The site will include an innovation centre where researchers will develop customised material formulas, and formula adjustments, to customer specifications. The company also says that the site is developed with sustainability and circularity targets among its long-term goals. The site will allow the company to broaden the range of its CQ product line, which consist of at least 25% non-fossil raw materials. And it will run on 100% “green” power, while using advanced and efficient production methods.
The Zhuhai site will produce TPU grades for the injection moulding of footwear components and IT/electronic devices, including flexible phone cases (pictured above), and also extrusion grades for cables, hoses, tubes, and automotive applications.