Lanxess Completes Capacity Expansion for High-Performance Plastics in the USA
Specialty chemicals company Lanxess AG 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 USD 15 million and doubles the site’s production capacity from 20,000 to 40,000 metric tons annually.
In the plant, the basic polymers polyamide (PA) and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) are mixed and refined with special additives and glass fiber, 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.
In the coming years, Lanxess plans to further invest EUR 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.
Lanxess expects global demand for engineering plastics in automotive applications to grow by 7 % annually (CAGR 2015-2020). This is being driven by rising car production and the trend towards more fuel-efficient automobiles. “The U.S. automotive sector remains strong, and the demand for engineering plastics in cars is growing,” said Antonis Papadourakis, Lanxess Corporation President and CEO. “With our expanded capacity, we are in a position to support this growth and remain a reliable supplier to our North American customers.”
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