German-based materials manufacturer Covestro has officially begun producing specialty films materials at its site in Guangzhou, China. Following the announced timeline for the takeover of the former polycarbonate sheets production by the Specialty Films division, the plant was officially handed over effective January 1st, 2019. The former sheets production lines have ceased to produce at the end of December 2018 and are either closed or being repurposed for the production of thinner-gauge polycarbonate films.
“We are very happy about the seamless progress,” said Michael Boediger, responsible for Production and Technology Covestro Specialty Films. “I very warmly welcome the colleagues in Guangzhou to our organization and look forward to ramping up production in the course of the year.”
Covestro will further ramp-up its films production capacity in Guangzhou in the course of 2019 to meet the high demand in the APAC region and further strengthen its position as a market leader.
“This is an important milestone for Specialty Films and for our customers in Asia,” says Markus Mingenbach, Head of Specialty Films for the APAC region at Covestro. “Being able to supply polycarbonate films from China will greatly improve our service levels for our customers in this region and strengthen our commitment to their growth.”
The whole project is part of Covestro’s recently announced investment plan of more than EUR 100 million in the company’s Specialty Films capacities worldwide. In December 2018, the company also broke ground for new polycarbonate films capacities at its site in Map Ta Phut, Thailand.
Polycarbonate specialty films are a highly versatile material used in various applications such as mobile phone housings, government security documents such as passports or in the automotive sector - all of which are strongly growing markets in China.
Covestro had previously announced the divestment of its overall sheets business in March last year, starting with the sale of its outlet in Sheffield, US. The repurposing of the Guangzhou outlet is one more step in this process. It supports Covestro’s strategy to proactively manage its portfolio and focus on its core business.
With 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2017.
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