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NEWS Solvay details global expansions


Solvay has announced three expan- sions in engineering plastics produc- tion capacity in emerging markets in quick succession. Its Performance Polyamides business has started up production in Mexico, while its Solvay Specialty Polymers unit has opened a new plant for Solef PVDF in China and is constructing another for polyether- sulphone (PESU) in India. The new polyamide facility at San


Luis Potosí, Mexico, has 10,000 tonnes/ year of capacity and is dedicated to the Technyl range. It was built in partnership with Chunil Engineering, a global automotive Tier 1 supplier and long- standing customer to Solvay. The facility is now supplying the regional automo- tive and consumer goods markets.


Braskem joins bio- MEG project


Brazilian resin producer Braskem and Danish cataly- sis specialist Haldor Topsøe have signed a technologi- cal cooperation agreement to develop a route to produce monoethylene glycol (MEG) from sugar. The two companies intend to build a demon- stration plant in Denmark, with operation starting in 2019 (MEG is a key component in production of PET). The project is based on a two-step process developed at Topsøe’s labs. The plant will conduct tests to validate the technology and confirm its technical and economic feasibility, before launching industrial-scale production. � www.braskem.com.brwww.topsoe.com


12 Meanwhile, the new site at Changshu,


China, will supply PVDF for applications in lithium-ion batteries in hybrid and electric vehicles, offshore oil and gas pipes, and liners and membranes for water purification within the Asian markets. It complements similar Solvay


facilities in Europe and the US. Produc- tion began in July but the site was not officially inaugurated until November. The new Veradel PESU production unit under construction at Panoli, India, fits in with wider plans to expand sulphone polymer capacity in India and the US by 35% over the next five years. This is “to address significant demand growth, from mainly the medical and water treatment indus- tries”, the company said. Capacity is also being increased at two US polymer and monomer units via investment and process optimisations. � www.solvay.com


Solvay’s new 10,000tpa Technyl PA plant in Mexico


EMS-Grivory adds to Grilamid range


Switzerland’s EMS-Grivory has announced availability of a new high transparency addition to its Grilamid TR range of polyam- ides – Grilamid TR XE 11501. The new resin is said to offer the high


stiffness of its current Grilamid TR 30 grade with the optical quality, ductility and toughness of its Grilamid TR 90. It offers a 0.2% haze and a yellow index of 1.5.


In addition, the firm claims TR XE 11501 displays improved flow, making it suitable for the manufacture of thin-walled compo- nents, and exhibits ductile breaking behav- iour, so no splinters are formed when it breaks. Applications are foreseen in toys, automotive interiors and supporting structures in mobile telephones. � www.emsgrivory.com


Borealis mulls PP investments


Over the next nine months, Borealis will study the feasibility of increasing the capacity of its three Belgian PP plants by means of debottlenecking to add the equivalent of a world-scale plant. The company’s study


comes at a time of increas- ing tightness in supply as demand increases in the flexible and rigid packaging and automotive sectors. Final investment decisions are expected to be taken in


COMPOUNDING WORLD | December 2017


Q4 2018, with any capacity increases coming on stream from Q1 2020 to early 2022. The PP capacity expan- sions would be linked to the additional propylene supply coming from the company’s planned propane dehydro- genation project at Kallo, also in Belgium. Alfred Stern, EVP of polyolefins said that the synergies between the two “will ensure a reliable and integrated value chain from feedstock to customers”. � www.borealisgroup.com


Borealis EVP Alfred Stern: “a reliable and integrated value chain”


www.compoundingworld.com


PHOTO: SOLVAY


PHOTO: BOREALIS


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