Tapping growing demand for waterborne coatings and adhesives in Asia

Covestro advances polyurethane dispersions capabilities with completion of new Shanghai facility

  • New plant to come on stream in Q1 2024
  • Modular construction saves time and improves investment efficiency
  • Environmentally compatible PUDs replace solvent-based types
  • More circular versions to be offered gradually
  • Diverse applications in automobile, construction, shoes and packaging

Covestro has completed construction on a new production facility for polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) in Shanghai, China. Once coming on stream in the first quarter of next year, the new capacity is expected to greatly address the rising demand for environmentally compatible coatings and adhesives in Asia Pacific, serving industries ranging from automotive, construction, furniture to footwear and packaging. The plant will be producing waterborne PUDs that boast properties equal to the performance of solvent-based types, and in 2024 also grades with more circular contents.

“With this new facility we aim to offer the broadest portfolio of PUDs to support the sustainability efforts of downstream industries here in Asia Pacific,” said Dr. Thorsten Dreier, Chief Technology Officer of Covestro, at an event in Shanghai marking the mechanical completion of the plant. “The modular concept adopted in the construction phase will also enable us to implement future investment projects and build up capacity more efficiently to capture market demand.”

Housed inside Covestro Integrated Site Shanghai (CISS), the plant was built by a service provider, leveraging modular construction under controlled conditions in a hall in Nantong, Jiangsu province. The individual modules, upon completion, were transported to and assembled at the final site. This approach helps shorten the total construction lead time while making investment more efficient.

High-performance PUDs to drive sustainability trends

Building on Covestro’s local innovation strengths, the new plant will further enhance the company’s capability to supply PUD, supporting sustainability trends in the coatings and adhesives industry in Asia Pacific. For example, waterborne PUDs are key enablers for low-emission solutions. They also help customers to more efficiently apply furniture paints or bonding in shoemaking, thanks to the innovative one-component technology from Covestro.

“With this additional PUD capacity, we are meeting and driving the trend for sustainable, waterborne coatings and adhesives in Asia Pacific, reinforcing our commitment to customers in this region. Our ongoing dedication to sustainability and circularity enables us to provide our customers and partners with even better access to more sustainable solutions that at the same time offer comparable performance to classic, solvent-based products. This enables us to actively promote widespread adoption of environmentally compatible alternatives,” said Dr. Thomas Roemer, Head of Business Entity Coatings and Adhesives at Covestro.

“With this new PUD facility, we are even better positioned to meeting the growing market demand for more sustainable materials in China and Asia Pacific,” said Holly Lei, President of Covestro China. “It also further enhances the capability of Covestro Integrated Site Shanghai, which plays a key role for us as we support our customers’ sustainability journey.”

To help customers reduce their carbon footprint, more circular PUDs will be offered from the Shanghai plant with a share of biobased or biocircular raw materials. CISS received its ISCC PLUS certification in 2021, which allows it to supply mass-balanced products in large volumes. To make more sustainable products easier to distinguish, Covestro furthermore introduced the suffix “CQ”. CQ stands for “Circular Intelligence” and identifies products containing a minimum of 25 percent alternative raw materials.  


About Covestro:

Covestro is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality polymer materials and their components. With its innovative products, processes and methods, the company helps enhance sustainability and the quality of life in many areas. Covestro supplies customers around the world in key industries such as mobility, building and living, as well as the electrical and electronics sector. In addition, polymers from Covestro are also used in sectors such as sports and leisure, cosmetics and health, as well as in the chemical industry itself.

The company is committed to becoming fully circular and is striving to become climate neutral by 2035 (scope 1 and 2). Covestro generated sales of EUR 18 billion in fiscal 2022. At the end of 2022, the company had 50 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 18,000 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Forward-looking statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.