Solvay, the Brussels, Belgium-based chemicals group, has announced that it is building a new speciality polymers unit in the US, expanding its capacity of PEEK (polyether etherketone).
The new unit is to be built at Solvay’s Specialty Polymers site in Augusta, Georgia, US, and is expected to come on stream in mid-2016. Combined with the expansion already underway at its site in Panoli, India (set to increase Solvay’s polymer production at the site by 25%) Solvay’s total PEEK neat resin production capacity will rise to more than 2,500 tonnes worldwide.
Solvay says it will invest more than $85m (€75.2m) in these two expansions.
The expansions will address the demand for KetaSpire PEEK and AvaSpire PAEK, says Solvay, which play a large role in light-weighting, reducing energy consumption and in enabling high performance in demanding applications such as healthcare, electronics and automotive.
“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,” said Augusto Di Donfrancesco, president of Solvay’s Specialty Polymers Global Business Unit (GBU) in a statement. “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.”
Solvay employs about 29,400 people in 56 countries and reported net sales of around €9.9bn 2013.