RadiciGroup to invest in nylon 6 and 6,6 BCF yarn spinning lines

20 September 2010 11:55  [Source: ICIS news]

Nylon climbing rope(Ninth paragraph updated with confirmation that Rhodia Polyamide's force majeure is still in place.)

LONDON (ICIS)--RadiciGroup will invest around €10m ($13m) in new spinning lines for nylon (polyamide) 6 and 6,6 solution-dyed bulked continuous filament (BCF) yarn at its plant at Casnigo, Italy, the company said on Monday.

The investment is an effort to bolster RadiciGroup's market position in the quality-flooring sector, and the new lines will come into operation in the middle of 2011, the company said in a press release.

The Casnigo plant's nameplate capacity currently stands at around 32,000 tonnes/year of BCF yarn, a company source confirmed.

The new lines will increase the plant's nameplate capacity by around 2,000-3,000 tonnes/year and will replace some existing capacity, the source added.

“This is an industry that requires flexibility, quality and customisation capabilities from all operators. Thanks to the new production lines at the Casnigo site and the vertical integration of our nylon 6,6 production chain, which is a hallmark of our group, we will be in the best position to meet these requests,” said RadiciGroup vice-chairman Maurizio Radici.

The European nylon 6 market has been in tight supply due to difficulties in sourcing the feedstock caprolactam, according to market sources.

Buyers and sellers said that this was because caprolactam prices in Asia were higher and there was strong demand for European material from the region, as local production was reduced due to energy restrictions.

Nylon 6,6 has been in tight supply since the fourth quarter of 2009 because of market consolidation during the global economic downturn of 2008 and 2009. This has led to increased lead times for virgin polymer of around three months for most accounts.

Further tightening the nylon 6,6 market was Rhodia Polyamide's ongoing force majeure, which the company declared in October 2009. A company source confirmed the force majeure is still in place.

Nylon 6,6 demand remained strong due to high consumption from the automotive sector, which has been driven by exports to Asia. Buying interest was estimated by market players at 20-40% above supply.

($1 =  €0.77)

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By: Mark Victory
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