Sabic’s new PP operation answers fast-accelerating demand from automotive OEMs and tiers for local supply of globally-consistent PP materials in North America, supporting production of both regional and global vehicle platforms.
Bergen/Netherlands – Sabic’s Innovative Plastics business celebrated a major milestone with the official opening of its specialty polypropylene (PP) compounding operation at its Bay St. Louis, Mississippi manufacturing site. The new compounding operation will supply Sabic PP compounds and Sabic Stamax long glass fiber-filled PP (LGFPP) composites for a wide range of automotive applications.
This is the second time in 17 months that Sabic has opened a PP compounding facility, having celebrated the start-up of its Genk, Belgium plant in June 2010.
Taken the Expertise
Innovative Plastics installed the new PP capacity in Bay St. Louis by drawing upon the design and technology of the company’s Genk plant, the largest greenfield PP compounding plant ever built in Europe. This world-scale facility supplies PP compounds to Europe and LGFPP composites to Europe and Asia Pacific. Genk also houses a Compounding Innovation Center with three pilot lines designed to speed the development cycle for new products and processes.
“With the investment in Bay St. Louis, we have taken the expertise that we have accumulated in Europe and the rest of the world and added it to North America,” said Leon Jacobs, polypropylene global leader Innovative Plastics, Automotive. “As a result, we have strengthened our ability to supply OEMs in this region with the uniform polypropylene materials that meet global materials specifications.”
Growing Use of PP Materials in Automotive
PP materials in the automotive sector have shown steady growth over several decades – at about three to five percent per year, on average – and have replaced metals and other polymers in various parts and components. PP’s versatility and ease of processing contribute to growing demand. Today, PP compounds are the preferred solution in many automotive applications, including bumper fascias, instrument panels (IPs), door panels, interior trim and other parts.