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Bayer MaterialScience and Toyota Tsusho Conclude Agreement for Baytubes

18 February 2008

Bayer MaterialScience AG and the Toyota Tsusho Corporation have finalised a distribution agreement for Baytubes, Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs).

Toyota Tsusho will act as Bayer MaterialScience’s exclusive distributor responsible for the marketing, sales, technical development and support of the Baytubes business in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. Toyota Tsusho brings to the table extensive experience related to high-grade chemical products, market intelligence about Baytubes markets, market intelligence about the countries and regions mentioned above, sales offices and organization as well as a close link with major Japanese corporations that have a stake in this new technology.

Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) are regarded as one of the prime examples of nanotechnology. Their unique electrical, mechanical and thermal properties make them suitable for a tremendous variety of applications. Thanks to a newly developed synthesis process, Bayer MaterialScience is one of the few manufacturers able to offer commercially viable quantities of CNTs with a constant and reproducible quality well above the 95 percent mark. In order to meet the increasing demand for MWCNTs, Bayer MaterialScience started up a new production facility in Laufenburg, Germany, in September 2007, thereby expanding their annual capacity from 30 to 60 tons. A new plant in Leverkusen with an annual manufacturing capacity of additional 200 tons of nanotubes is planned by 2009.

Baytubes, CNTs produced by Bayer MaterialScience, can be used as an additive to significantly modify the properties of various materials, such as the stiffness and resilience of composites: Components such as surfboards and skis made of epoxy resin composite can be designed to be far lighter and stronger in terms of mechanical strength.

“Together with Toyota Tsusho we want to explore new markets and new opportunities for lucrative industrial applications with Baytubes. With their well-established offices and staff in all of the important markets in Asia, they are an ideal choice as a partner for us. Additionally, their reputation and standing in Japan is expected to contribute considerably to Bayer MaterialScience's objective of becoming a major supplier of high quality MWCNTs in this very important market,” said Martin Schmid, head of the global Baytubes operations.