Covestro to Build its Largest TPU Site in China

24.02.2023 - German engineering plastics producer Covestro has decided to build its largest-ever thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) site at Zhuhai, China.

The new facility, which will represent the company’s biggest investment in this business, will have an end-capacity of 120,000 t/y and command an investment sum in the low triple digit-million euro range.

Located in the Zhuhai Gaolan Port Economic Development Zone in Guangdong Province, the new site that will eventually span 45,000 m2 is planned to be completed by in 2033. Construction will take place in three phases, with the first phase to start up in late 2025 and the last in 2033.

Chief commercial officer Sucheta Govil said the site will be able to serve the growing Asian markets, as well as meet demand in Europe and North America. The investment shows the company’s “ongoing commitment to growth” in its Solutions & Specialties business entities, she added.

Andrea Maier-Richter, head of TPU, explained that the majority of the TPU market and its growth prospects are in Asia and particularly in China.

An innovation center is also planned to be part of the project. This is designed to enable researchers on-site to design customized material formulas and to perform formula adjustment to meet customer demands within “very short cycles.”

The center will also support broadening the product selection under the recently introduced, sustainable CQ product line. Products bearing this label must consist of at least 25% alternative, non-fossil raw materials, Covestro said.

The plastics maker added that the Chinese site additionally will utilize the “most advanced” production technologies and will operate entirely on “green” power.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist