New Martinsville, United States of America
In March 2000, the Bayer Group invested in a new production plant to manufacture aqueous polyurethane dispersions (PUD) at the New Martinsville site in the US State of West Virginia.
The plant produces more than 544,300 tonnes of chemical intermediates, polyurethane materials, food-grade hydrochloric acid, and iron-oxide pigments each year. Other products produced at the New Martinsville plant include: texin thermoplastic polyurethane, mondur diisocyanates, polyisocyanates, and intermediaries, diphenyl methylene diisocyanate (MDI), toluene diisocyanate (TDI), prepolymers, polyesters, hydrochloric acid and iron oxide.
PRECURSORS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF POLYURETHANES
The new Martinsville plant is a key manufacturing facility for components used in the production of polyurethanes. The project started in July 2000, and was commissioned in the third quarter of 2001, with the production of precursors for aqueous raw materials used to formulate coatings, adhesives and textile coatings. The plant employs approximately 950 people. The project required an investment, which has been valued to be in excess of $17.3 million.
Raw materials are received by pipeline, truck, rail, and barge while finished goods are shipped to customers in bags, boxes, drums, totes, tank trucks and tank cars. Hazmat teams on-site are trained and ready to respond 24 hours a day to chemical spills, leaks, or other transportation emergencies.
Safety performance at the plant is constantly being improved. Risk management plans for the site are up to date and have been shared with the community and local emergency response organisations.
The plant has an active program to reduce emissions and releases to the environment. Air emissions have been reduced by 80% since 1992, and releases to the water, since nitrates were added to the Toxics Release Inventory list in 1995, have been reduced by more than 50%. Furthermore, nitrate releases were projected to be near zero by the end of 2000, and solid and liquid wastes including trash also have been reduced over the past five years by more than 30%.
MARKET FOR POLYURETHANE DISPERSIONS
The investment will enable Bayer to strengthen its position in the market for polyurethane dispersions, which is growing at an annual rate of around 10%. With this expansion, Bayer is putting in place an important cornerstone for further growth on the North American market, thus, in the future, Bayhydrol, Dispercoll and Impranil polyurethane dispersions will be manufactured in New Martinsville.
BAYHYDROL AND DISPERCOLL
Bayhydrol is used to formulate waterborne coating systems for use in, for example, industrial wood and furniture finishing, the automotive industry and coating plastics. These coating systems are characterised by their outstanding mechanical and chemical resistance properties. The Dispercoll products are raw materials for the formulation of environmentally friendly adhesives for the shoe, furniture and automotive industries. The aqueous polyurethane dispersions from the Impranil range are used to produce solvent-free textile coatings for outerwear, shoes, bags and technical articles.
THE NEW MARTINSVILLE SITE
The site along the Ohio River was founded in 1954 on a 270-acre tract, which has since grown to more than 1,000 acres. The original site was developed as a joint venture between Monsanto and Bayer. It was the first polyurethane manufacturing plant in North America, and the company was called Mobay at the time. Bayer later obtained sole interest and after the name was briefly changed to Miles Inc. in the early 1990's, the company was renamed Bayer Corporation in 1995.
An iron oxide (IO) pigments facility was added in 1980. It is the largest IO pigment production facility in North America. Products from the plant are shipped by truck and rail all over the country to be used in consumer products such as automobiles, appliances, furniture, home construction, toys, shoes, sports equipment, and many other applications from food preparation to steel manufacturing.