Resin manufacturer LANXESS (Leverkusen, Germany; Pittsburgh, Pa., USA) announced on March 9 that it is expanding its global production network for high-tech plastics. The specialty chemical company broke ground on a new compounding facility in North Carolina, USA. Additionally, LANXESS and U.S. chemical company DuPont will double the capacity of their joint compounding facility in Hamm-Uentrop, Germany.
The new production facility in Gastonia, N.C., will have an initial capacity of 20,000 metric tons per year. It will be the first compounding facility for the LANXESS high-tech plastics Durethan and Pocan in the United States. Basic polymers, such as polyamide and polybutylene terephthalate, are mixed and refined with additives in the compounding facility to produce Durethan and Pocan as per customer needs.
The facility represents an initial investment of $13.9 million (€10 million) and is expected to create up to 55 new jobs locally. Construction is expected to start in second quarter 2011; production is scheduled to begin in 2012.
"The U.S. is the largest market for high-tech plastics, with the automotive industry at the forefront. It is here that increased CAFE fuel efficiency standards are driving demand for these advanced materials," said Werner Breuers, member of the Board of Management of LANXESS.
LANXESS and U.S. chemical company DuPont plan to double the capacity of their joint compounding facility for polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). The partner companies will invest an extra €10 million at the facility in Hamm-Uentrop, Germany. The expansion is expected to create nine new jobs in addition to the 70 positions already in existence. Production is scheduled to begin in 2012. The plant is one of the largest of its kind in the world and was opened in 2004.