German industrial giant Bayer will take an active part in China's 2008 Olympic Games by supplying high-tech and energy-efficient material for sporting arenas.
Bayer MaterialScience China, a sub-group of Bayer China, yesterday signed the first major contract for roofing materials for an Olympic venue in the country.
Under the agreement between Bayer Guangyi Panel Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Bayer MaterialScience China, and Tianjin Huafang Curtain Wall Decoration Engineering Co Ltd,
Bayer will supply Makrolon polycarbonate material, a glass-like product, for the Tianjin Olympic Centre.
Bayer will supply 13,000 square metres of the sheets to be used for the stadium's roof.
Located in the city centre, Tianjin Olympic Centre will cover 78,000 square metres and will host soccer matches during the Games.
Commenting on the deal, Juergen Dahmer, chief executive officer of Bayer China, said: "It is the first major contract for roofing materials to be signed for any Olympic venue in China, and we are very honoured that our Makrolon polycarbonate sheets have been selected as the material of choice."
"Makrolon polycarbonate sheets have excellent clarity and durability, making them ideal for use in roofing panels," said Han Zheng'an, director of Tianjin Huafang.
Compared with glass, Makrolon polycarbonate is easy to handle and looks good.
It is already widely used in sporting facilities around the world, said Wang Lihua of Bayer MaterialScience China.
Wang said the material had already been extensively used in the construction of another Olympic venue, the Spyridon Louis Stadium, for the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece.
The agreement comes in the wake of an increase in emphasis from the Chinese Government and the building industry on the use of high-tech and environmental-friendly materials in the construction of sporting venues for the Games.
Apart from the Tianjin Olympic Centre, Bayer MaterialScience China is also in talks with other Olympic projects about raw materials supply, according to Dahmer.
Last July, Bayer MaterialScience China organized a joint conference called VisionWorks 2008, during which it showcased applications for Bayer MaterialScience products, including Makrolon polycarbonate.
More than 140 participants, comprising government officials, the Beijing Olympics committee, as well as engineering and construction companies, attended the event.
Today China is Bayer's second largest market in Asia, according to Dahmer.
In 2004, its global sales revenue was 23 billion euros (US$27.6 billion), with sales in China of around 1 billion euros (US$1.2 billion).
China was Bayer's fastest-growing market, according to Dahmer.
Sales last year are expected to have recorded double-digit growth.