High Performance Polymer Plastics Lanxess Completes Production Capacity Expansion in North Carolina
Speciality chemicals firm Lanxess launches its second production line for high-performance plastics compounding in Gastonia, North Carolina, thus completing its US $ 15 million dollar expansion project.
Pittsburgh, North Carolina/USA – The new line at Lanxess' production plant in Gastonia, North Carolina represents an investment of about US $ 15 million and doubles the site’s capacity from 20,000 to 40,000 tons per year.
At 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 which are used primarily in the automotive industry.
Investments of up to 100 Million Euro in the Pipeline
“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 Lanxess Board of Management. “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 the company's business unit High Performance Materials.
Lightweight Cars Become Key Driver for Plastics
The speciality chemicals producer 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. E.g., in the US, automakers must meet government-mandated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations which indicate the average distance that has to be covered per one gallon of fuel. 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, 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.”