Bayer Material Science AG plans to build a solid sheet polycarbonate manufacturing facility in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, in part to target what it said is growth in diffusion lighting applications. The facility, part of the Leverkusen, Germany-based Bayer’s previously announced plan to invest 110 million euros by next year to build five downstream facilities in China, will have annual capacity of 12,000 metric tons per year. It is designed to meet market demand growing at 10 percent a year, the company said in an Oct. 20 announcement of ground-breaking at the facility. Production will be split equally between optical panels and solid sheets, and plans call for doubling capacity by 2015, Bayer said. The factory is estimated to come on-stream in 2012. Bayer already has a facility in Beijing for making multiwall polycarbonate sheet and another in Gimhae, South Korea, for making solid sheet. The market in China for polycarbonate sheet is about 110,000 tons a year, split equally between solid sheet and multiwall applications, but most of the growth is coming from solid sheet applications such as lighting, Bayer said. “Our prediction is that in 2015 China will need 155,000 tons of polycarbonate sheets — 65,000 tons for multiwall sheets and 90,000 tons for solid sheets” said Michael Schmidt, Bayer’s head of global technology and production for polycarbonate sheet semi-finished products.