Both sites produce polyether polyols - a key component in the development of polyurethanes. The market relies heavily on these sites, which are of significant size, making Bayer's investments vital to supporting growing demand in the NAFTA market for this versatile and essential material. More specifically, investments in the Channelview, Texas, plant further build on Bayer's market-leading IMPACT™ technology, which is based on its proprietary double metal catalyst (DMC), while taking advantage of the plant's economies-of-scale.
These capital investments are increasing plant capacities, providing Bayer with additional volume to support growing demand around the world. The investments are an example of Bayer's longstanding commitment to these facilities and also give Bayer the ability to participate in continued market growth.
"We strive to provide our customers and key markets with consistent high-quality products and technology they've come to expect from Bayer," said Craig Caputo, vice president - Polyurethanes regional product manager, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. "Through investments and expansions, our facilities and operations continue to evolve, enabling us to remain a reliable source of market-leading polyurethane raw materials to the North American market."
Polyurethane raw materials made at the South Charleston, W.Va., plant are utilized in automotive seating, and also serve the coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers markets. Increased capacity is now coming on-stream; full capacity is expected in 2014.
The flexible foam market, which includes polyurethanes for furniture and mattresses, is supplied in part by the Channelview, Texas, site. Additionally, expansions at the plant will effectively double original start-up capacity of the world's first IMPACT technology plant. Upgrades to this site will take place in 2014 with full capacity available in 2015.