30 April 2012 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Evonik Industries intends to expand its polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and nylon 12 (or polyamide 12) capacities in Asia as part of plans to invest €2bn ($2.6bn) in the region between 2010 and 2015. The Germany-based producer plans to double Asia sales to €4bn annually over the period, said executive board member Dahai Yu.
Dahai Yu said Evonik plans to double Asia sales in five years
Gregor Hetzke, Evonik's head of performance polymers, said the firm plans to expand its 60,000 PMMA facility in Taichung, Taiwan, to 85,000 tonnes/year. Commercial operations are expected to begin later this year.
The firm also plans to build a new 20,000 tonne/year nylon 12 plant at an undisclosed location in Asia, said Hetzke. Start-up is scheduled for 2014.
Other projects in Asia include a 230,000 tonne/year hydrogen peroxide plant in Jilin, China, and an expansion of bio-based Vestamid Terra polymers in Shanghai.
Evonik expects to start up the hydrogen peroxide plant, which is estimated to cost more than €100m, in the fourth quarter of 2013. Output will be supplied to an adjacent hydrogen peroxide-to-propylene oxide (HPPO) plant run by Jishen Chemical Industry.
The Vestamid Terra polymers project involves adding a compounding plant, which is expected to begin operations in the third quarter of 2012, and expanding polymerisation capacity, scheduled for the second half of 2013.
Evonik outlined its Asia investments following a fatal blast at its cyclododecatriene (CDT) plant in Marl, Germany, on 31 March, which has taken out an estimated 40% of the world's nylon 12 capacity. CDT is used to make laurolactam which, in turn, is used as a monomer in nylon 12.
Following the blast, Evonik has suggested that Vestamid Terra polymers could be used as a nylon 12 substitute. The company said it hopes to fully repair the CDT plant by December.
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