Lanxess starts up expanded high-performance plastics unit in US

Lanxess starts up expanded high-performance plastics unit in US

7:53 AM, 11th January 2016
Lanxess starts up expanded high-performance plastics unit in US

COLOGNE, GERMANY/PITTSBURGH, US: Lanxess AG said that it has started up a second production line for high-performance plastics compounding at its facility in Gastonia, North Carolina, as planned. The new line represents an investment of about $15 million and doubles the site’s production capacity from 20,000 to 40,000 metric tonne annually.

In the plant, the basic polymers polyamide (PA) and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) are mixed and refined with special additives and glass fibre, according to client requirements, to make the high-performance plastic product lines Durethan and Pocan.

They are used primarily in the automotive industry to manufacture lighter-weight plastic components that can replace metal parts in vehicles, contributing to greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.

“This investment shows our strengthened focus on high-performance compounds and underlines our strategy to shift this business towards higher-value-added markets,” said Hubert Fink, member of the board of management of Lanxess AG. “The capacity expansion in Gastonia also shows our commitment to North America, which we see as major growth region.”

In the coming years, Lanxess plans to further invest €50 to 100 million for organic growth in its high-performance plastics business. “With the investments, we will be further balancing the capacities in our polyamide value chain and driving the globalization of our engineering plastics business,” said Michael Zobel, head of Lanxess ' business unit high performance materials.

Lightweight automotive construction as key driver for high-performance plastics

Lanxess expects global demand for engineering plastics in automotive applications to grow by 7 percent annually (CAGR 2015-2020). This is being driven by rising car production and the trend towards more fuel-efficient automobiles. By 2025, an average fleet-wide fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon will be required compared to 34.1 miles per gallon in 2016.

“The US automotive sector remains strong and the demand for engineering plastics in cars is growing,” said Antonis Papadourakis, president and CEO, Lanxess Corporation.

© Worldofchemicals News

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