German materials company Covestro has announced plans to further increase polycarbonate production capacity at its plant in Shanghai, China, months after an earlier expansion was launched at the site.
The company doubled its polycarbonate production capacity at the facility to 400,000 tonnes per year in October last year.
The new investment will see the total capacity increase to 600,000 tonnes per year, the Leverkusen-based company announced 16 May.
The added capacity will be achieved through debottlenecking of production lines and is in response to “strong customer demand” for polycarbonates in the Asia-Pacific region, Covestro said.
The expanded capacity is expected to come on stream at the beginning of 2019.
“The expansion is essential to satisfy the growing demand”, said chief technology officer Klaus Schaefer.
According to Michelle Jou, global head of Covestro´s polycarbonates segment, “there is a rapidly growing demand for polycarbonate resins and blends, in particular in China.”
Segments including electronics, healthcare and automotive are Covestro’s key customer industries in that region, Jou added.
Covestro, which is already heavily invested in China, did not disclose financial details of the expansion plant, but it is thought to be part of its multi-year, 3-plus-billion-euro investment programme for the Shanghai site.
Shanghai, home to Covestro’s global headquarters for polycarbonates, is claimed by Covestro to be “the largest production centre for polycarbonate resins in the world.”
The facility features a technology to recycle process saltwater at the production site. This is used again to produce chlorine and sodium hydroxide, two chemicals that are needed as raw materials for polycarbonates.
“By using our innovative recycling process technology we safeguard our high level of cost efficiency”, concluded Schaefer.