US Eastman to expand 'Tritan' capacity by end-2011

29 October 2010 23:53  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US producer Eastman plans to expand its Tritan copolymer production capacity by the end of next year to meet growing demand, company officials said on Friday.

Eastman senior vice president and chief financial officer Curt Espeland said that at the end of 2009 the company started up a monomer facility that could support two 30,000 tonne/year Tritan plants. Eastman announced the start up of the first of those plants in May.

“We had expected to sell out [the product from] the first resin facility by the end of 2011 but demand has been stronger than expected and we expect it will be now sold out by the end of the fourth quarter,” Espeland said during the company's earnings conference call.

“As a result we will be adding a second Tritan facility and expect that will be on line by the end of 2011," he said.

Company president Jim Rogers said the production line in Kingsport, Tennessee, moved from “roughly $7m [€5m] in the hole began this year to a break-even point by the end of the year, which by the way, when you got your monomer plant, which is a sizable capital investment, running at 50% [production capacity] you can break even, that’s not too bad”.

The product is used in a wide variety of applications and markets, including reusable sports water bottles, housewares, small appliances, including medical, infant care, bulk water and signs.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Brian Ford
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