Covestro implements large photovoltaic facility with tailored polyurethanes at Shanghai site

Solid step towards circular economy

In another stride towards embracing the circular economy, Covestro has successfully implemented a pioneering distributed photovoltaic (PV) power generation facility at its Shanghai production site, incorporating innovative materials developed by the company itself.

In the project, 30,000 square meters of PV modules were installed on rooftops, parking lots, and unused areas at Covestro Integrated Site Shanghai (CISS). The facility commenced operations in late January, and is projected to generate 6 million kilowatt-hours annually for on-site consumption. Coupled with the existing PV facilities, the site’s total solar power generation is expected to reach 6.5 million kWh annually, resulting in a reduction of approximately 5,000 tons of carbon emissions. This reduction is equivalent to saving about 2,000 tons of standard coal on an annual basis.

This initiative underscores the company’s unwavering commitment to advancing renewable energy utilization as a core aspect of its pursuit of full circularity. In 2023, renewable energy accounted for over 40 percent of the electricity used by CISS – the company’s largest production site – largely facilitated through multi-year Power Purchase Agreements with suppliers such as CGN New Energy

“Integrating this new PV power generation facility represents another stride towards emission reduction and achieving full circularity for our site,” said Dr. Yun Chen, General Manager of CISS. “While the solar power it generates contributes only a fraction to our site’s power consumption, the message is clear: we are committed to aligning all our activities with circular principles and want to contribute to the circular economy with the materials we produce.”

Enhanced energy efficiency of solar panels with PU composites

By integrating PV modules with frames partially made of its polyurethane (PU) composites into this project, Covestro also aims to leverage its materials expertise to contribute to the dynamics of the photovoltaic sector. The frame is a crucial component in solar panel modules, serving to safeguard glass edges, enhance sealing performance, and bolster overall mechanical strength.

Covestro, in partnership with China’s Zhejiang Deyilong, has introduced PU composite frames made of Baydur® resin. These frames, utilized in the solar facility, demonstrate superior anti-corrosion performance. This durability renders them ideal for regions prone to high humidity and salt spray. As non-metallic insulating materials, PU composite frames mitigate Potential-Induced Degradation (PID), thereby enhancing the power generation efficiency of solar panels. Baydur® composites have been certified by TÜV Rheinland and TÜV SÜD as suitable materials for solar panels.

Additionally, PU composite offers an 85 percent reduction in cradle-to-gate carbon footprint compared to traditional aluminum in solar frames due to its less energy-intensive production process.1  

“This project not only reaffirms our commitment to advancing renewable energy in our factory production but also underscores the benefits of PU composites for solar panels,” said Akhil Singhania, Head of PU Specialties at Covestro’s Tailored Urethanes Business Entity. “This strategic initiative enables us to leverage our expertise and innovative solutions to meet the rising demand for sustainable energy solutions. By reducing our carbon footprint and optimizing resource utilization, we take pride in leading the charge towards a circular economy and driving positive change.”


1 Internal calculations based on data from TÜV SÜD, which shows cradle-to-gate carbon footprint of each kilogram of 100 percent primary aluminum profile is 24.2 kilograms of CO2 equivalent emissions.


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, telecommunications and health, as well as in the chemical industry itself.

The company is committed to becoming fully circular. In addition, Covestro aims to achieve climate neutrality for its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2035, and the Group’s Scope 3 emissions are also set to be climate neutral by 2050. Covestro generated sales of EUR 14.4 billion in fiscal 2023. At the end of 2023, the company had 48 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 17,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Forward-looking statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG management. 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 provided here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports. These reports 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.