Bayer MaterialScience is to close its site for the production of polycarbonate sheet in Darmstadt, Germany, in an effort to consolidate its business for “long term viability” and to “remain competitive.”
The company said “global overcapacities and insufficient demand” required action. In light of this, Bayer MaterialScience says it conducted a “thorough review” of its polycarbonate business model, which includes its global sheet business.
Based on the results of this analysis, it was decided that a consolidation of sheet activities in Europe was also necessary to ensure the long-term viability of the business as a whole and to remain competitive.
European customers will be supplied in the future by the plants in Nera Montoro, Italy, and Tielt, Belgium. The closure in Darmstadt affects 90 employees.
Bayer MaterialScience currently produces sheets at ten locations. The consolidation has also led to further action in the Asia/Pacific region, with its sheet business in Australia and New Zealand as well as the Laserlite brand being sold. In addition, sheet production in China was consolidated at the Guangzhou site; the Beijing site was closed.
Dr. Markus Steilemann, Head of the Polycarbonates Business Unit at Bayer MaterialScience, said he remained optimistic about the future of the overall business, stating: "The demand for the high-performance plastic polycarbonate continues to grow year-to-year and worldwide at rates that will soon wipe out the current overcapacities. By adjusting our alignment, we are strengthening our leading market position."