To provide optimal support for its increasing number of customers in China, Bayer will establish a technical service center for applied polymer technology in Shanghai. The planned investment of about 10 million euro (US$10 million) will bring Bayer's expertise in applications technology along with research and development in the polymer field to Shanghai and China.The technical center will complement Bayer's existing polyol formulation and polycarbonate sheet manufacturing in China and provide a customer interface for the group's planned integrated chemical site in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park Caojing. The plans at the Caojing site include a 430 million euro (US$450 million) polycarbonate production facility for which a Letter of Intent was signed in November 1999. Additional world-scale production units for polyurethane and coating raw materials, chemicals and rubber are presently under negotiation.Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the technical center in Shanghai today, Mr. Reinhard Clausius, head of Marketing in Bayer's Polyurethanes Business Group, said: "A competitive edge in production and quality, combined with comprehensive applications technology services to our customers, is the winning formula which will lead to significant advancements in the processing and application of polymers." With the establishment of the Polymer Technical Center in Shanghai, Bayer is taking this formula to China in order to support the development of the domestic automotive, appliances, electronics, construction, shoe and furniture industries.Total sales in the range of 500 million euros (US$535 million) in 1999 make China Bayer's second largest individual market in Asia. With its above-average growth potential, the country has become a regional focus of the group's capital expenditure program.