Expansions: Kraton expands SBS capacity in US; Repsol breaks ground on EUR657 mn polymers project at Sines Industrial Complex

Kraton expands SBS capacity in US

Speciality polymers maker Kraton Corporation has announced a significant expansion of its styrene-butadiene-styrene block copolymers (SBS) supply capability at its Belpre, Ohio, facility starting in 2024. The production capacity is expected to increase by 24 kilotonnes/year by 2025.

"We are excited to announce plans to expand our Belpre manufacturing capacity. This expansion supports our growth strategy and our customer's growing demand for SBS in North America," said Holger Jung, Kraton Polymers CEO. He added, "Global supply chain challenges and force majeure situations in 2022 impacted our business, but we have successfully navigated and emerged stronger. We recognize the importance of a reliable, effective supply chain. This expansion will ensure Kraton efficiently delivers the products and solutions our customers rely on, with consistent quality. We appreciate our customers' patience and trust as we strive to meet their needs with best-in-class solutions."

The increased capacity affirms Kraton's dedication to enhancing product reliability and meeting ongoing demand from both current and potential customers. To further grow its SBS capacity in North America, Kraton says it is exploring additional manufacturing expansion opportunities to strengthen its regional position.

Repsol breaks ground on EUR657 mn polymers project at Sines Industrial Complex

In other news, Spanish multinational firm Repsol recently held groundbreaking of its expansion project at its Industrial Complex in Sines, Portugal. The project, which includes constructing two new plants, one for linear polyethylene and the other for polypropylene, involves an investment of EUR657 million, with a production capacity of 600,000 tonnes/year. The expansion project will incorporate about 38 ha of the 143 ha already occupied.

In addition to the new plants, decarbonisation and energy transition programs, photovoltaic generation, electrification, and logistical infrastructure projects are underway.

The project will generate employment opportunities, requiring up to 1,000 workers during construction and creating 75 direct and 300 indirect employees when the project is finalised.

Repsol adds that the new products will also be 100% recyclable and can be used in highly specialised applications, aligned with the energy transition in pharmaceuticals, automotive, or food sectors.

Salvador Ruiz, general manager of Repsol Polímeros, highlighted the importance of this investment and stated that "the expansion of the Industrial Complex illustrates Repsol's commitment to Sines and to leading the energy transition, promoting the circular economy. The project is part of the company's industrial transformation of its industrial complexes into multi-energy hubs to revolutionize the industrial sector and generate quality employment."


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