Solvay to expand PEEK capacity in US

The new unit at Solvay's Specialty Polymers site in Augusta, GA, US, is expected to come onstream in mid-2016 and, combined with similar expansion in India, increase PEEK capacity to more than 2,500 metric tons.

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Solvay (Brussels, Belgium) reported on Feb. 24 that it is building a new specialty polymers resin unit in the United States, significantly expanding its production capacity of PEEK (polyether etherketone). The new unit at Solvay’s Specialty Polymers site in Augusta, GA, US, is expected to come onstream in mid-2016 and, combined with an expansion already underway at its site in Panoli, India, will increase Solvay’s total PEEK neat resin production capacity to more than 2,500 metric tons worldwide. Collectively, Solvay will invest more than US$85 million in these two expansions.

These investments, says Solvay, affirm the company's long-term commitment to the industry to keep pace with growing demand for KetaSpire PEEK and AvaSpire® PAEK. These two polymers, says Solvay, play a major role in lightweighting, reducing energy consumption and enabling high performance in demanding applications such as healthcare, electronics, oil and gas, aeronautics and automotive.

The new unit will be located alongside Solvay Specialty Polymers’ existing resin and monomer production units in Augusta, and benefit from the site's proximity to the GBU’s Research & Innovation center in Alpharetta, GA. The new PEEK unit will use the same processes and technologies as Solvay’s proven Panoli plant.

“This major expansion drive will make Solvay the only player in the industry to produce PEEK at two different sites in two different, growing regions,” says Augusto Di Donfrancesco, president of Solvay’s Specialty Polymers Global Business Unit (GBU). "The new plant in the United States together with the one in India will provide unmatched security of neat resin supply. These investments reinforce our long-term commitment to our customers worldwide.”

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