Bayer AG recently announced the construction of a factory in Qingdao for the production of polyurethane. The facility in the Economic and Development Zone is being touted as eco-friendly and the first of its kind in China for Bayer. Polyurethane is used by many industries including automotive, construction and furniture. Bayer says the Qingdao factory is their “first eco commercial building in China, and a milestone in the country‚Äôs sustainable construction”. Check out their full press release here.

More from China Daily:

Bayer AG broke ground for a new polyurethane plant in Qingdao on Tuesday, underscoring the commitment of the German pharmaceutical and chemical producer and its local partners to China’s sustained development of the building industry.

The polyurethane project, located in Qingdao’s Economic and Development Zone, will involve a total investment of between 200 million yuan ($30.75 million) and 250 million yuan.

The project is part of Bayer’s plan to invest 110 million euros ($155 million) by 2012 to build five downstream facilities in China.

Polyurethane – commonly used for flexible foams in upholstery, mattresses and earplugs, as well as chemical-resistant coatings and packaging – is an organic material increasingly being applied as an insulation on the outside of buildings.

According to Azita Owlia, senior vice-president of Bayer MaterialScience’s polyurethane unit in the Asia-Pacific region, buildings are responsible for 40 percent of energy consumption and almost one-third of greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide.

“With China’s construction expenditure rising at 9.1 percent annually through 2014, sustainability is our business model, and we are committed to helping shape China’s environmental future,” Owlia told China Daily.

She said that the saving potential in the building sector is huge and necessary, considering the high standards set in the country’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

“We have a very large portfolio, anywhere from rural development to urbanization, and from footwear to Apple Inc iPads,” she added.

The 1,000-square-meter office complex at the Qingdao polyurethane plant will have a number of environmentally friendly features such as solar energy, geothermal systems and LED lighting to reduce energy use, and water-recycling capability.

Michael Voigt, head of Bayer MaterialScience’s eco-commercial building unit in China, said the Qingdao building will be the fifth such structure developed by Bayer globally and its first in China.

As the world’s largest construction material manufacturer and consumer, China has a large potential for saving energy in construction, Voigt said.

The Qingdao plant, scheduled to start production in 2012, will serve customers in diverse industries including automotive, construction, furniture and thermoplastic polyurethane. It will have state-of-the-art production equipment.

“There is significant manufacturing activity in northern China, and the new plant will provide greater proximity to our customers. It will also enable us to meet the strong growing demand for polyurethane in China, which is expected to grow between 7 percent and 10 percent on a yearly basis until 2014,” Owlia said.

Bayer’s five downstream plants include three polyurethane plants, a new polycarbonate sheet facility and a polycarbonate color compounding and design center.

The three new plants will be located in Shanghai, Qingdao and Chongqing.

The polycarbonate color compounding and design facility is in Chongqing and the polycarbonate sheet plant will be established at Guangzhou.

China has become Bayer’s largest single market in the Asia-Pacific region by sales. Bayer China achieved 2.9 billion euros of sales in 2010, to which Bayer MaterialScience contributed 1.8 billion euros.

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Bayer China
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