German Plant Expansions: Evonik plans new PA12 complex in Marl; Lanxess increases capacity for engineering plastics in Krefeld-Uerdingen

Evonik plans new PA12 complex in Marl

Chemicals firm Evonik is planning to build a new production complex for polyamide 12 (PA 12) in Marl, Germany, to increase capacity by more than 50%. After successful basic engineering, Evonik says it plans to invest approximately EUR400 million in the PA 12 complex at its largest site, Marl Chemical Park in North Rhine-Westphalia. The existing PA 12 production is to be supplemented with additional manufacturing facilities for the polymer and its precursors. The complex is expected to become operational in early 2021.

The investment will make a substantial contribution to reaching Evonik’s margin goal and will generate an annual cash flow in a three-digit million Euro amount over the long term. The project is to be implemented over the course of four years as part of the annual budget for growth investments, says the German firm.

“We are planning Evonik’s largest investment in Germany,” says Christian Kullmann, Chairman of the Evonik Executive Board. “This investment is a perfect fit to our strategy of consistent focus on specialty chemicals since polyamide 12, as a high-performance polymer for speciality applications.”

The PA 12 market is posting annual growth rates exceeding 5% worldwide, significantly outpacing the global gross domestic product. In the speciality application of 3D printing, growth rates even reach double digits. “The demand for polyamide 12 is showing steady, dynamic growth," says Claus Rettig, Chairman of the Board of Management of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH. “The planned capacity expansion will further strengthen our leading market position for polyamide 12. For our customers worldwide, our commitment translates into long-term availability and reliability of supply for their existing and future applications.”

PA12 is used in many demanding applications as a replacement for steel: in automotive and lightweight design as well as in oil and gas pipelines and Evonik says it is also very well positioned for the future production of hybrid and electric vehicles as well as the medical sector and 3D printing.

Lanxess increases capacity for engineering plastics in Krefeld-Uerdingen

Meanwhile, in other news, speciality chemicals company Lanxess says it has now commissioned a new production line for the manufacture of speciality compounds at its Krefeld-Uerdingen site in Germany. The German company has invested approximately EUR7 million in expanding the production capacities of its engineering plastics. Lanxess says it is thus expanding its position as one of the world’s leading suppliers and developers of high-performance compounds based on polyamide 6, polyamide 66 and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT).

The new line has an annual capacity of up to 10,000 tonnes. At the Krefeld-Uerdingen site, it complements the compounding lines designed for the production of Durethan polyamide compounds and PBT compounds of the Pocan brand.

“With this investment, we are responding in particular to the development of new forms of mobility such as electromobility, but also to trends in the electrical and electronic industry such as the Industry 4.0, which are leading to a growing demand for complex thermoplastic compounds,” explains Michael Zobel, Head of Lanxess’s High Performance Materials business unit.

The new production line includes a high-performance twin-screw extruder with a modern raw material feeding, precise dosing and an efficient cooling and classifying technology. “The extruder provides all the equipment necessary for the economical production of high-quality compounds,” explains Stefanie Nickel, Head of Compounding in the High Performance Materials business unit. “The line is very well suited, for example, for our glass fibre-reinforced polyamides, which are used in the structural lightweight design of automobiles.”

It is also suitable for the production of compounds with high mineral content, which are used in thermally conductive housing parts, for example for the miniaturisation of electronic assemblies. “We also see great potential in flame-retardant compounds, for example for components in electric drives,“ Nickel continues.

In addition to its German sites in Krefeld-Uerdingen and Hamm-Uentrop, Lanxess operates compounding lines in all relevant economic regions worldwide to supply its international customers – for example in Wuxi, China, in Jhagadia, India, in Gastonia, US, and in Porto Feliz, Brazil.

In 2019, Lanxess will open another compounding plant in Changzhou, China, with a capacity of around 25,000 tonnes/year. With its world scale production facilities in Krefeld-Uerdingen and Antwerp, the speciality chemicals group is one of the world’s largest producers of polyamide 6 base resins.

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