Lanxess plans a new production facility in Gastonia, NC, USA, with an initial capacity of 20,000 metric tons (m.t.) per year, representing an initial investment of €10 million. Production is scheduled to begin in 2012. The facility will be the first compounding facility for the Lanxess high-tech plastics Durethan and Pocan in the U.S. Basic polymers, such as polyamide and polybutylene terephthalate, are mixed and refined with additives in the compounding facility to produce Durethan and Pocan as per customer needs.
The automotive industry is the largest customer for the Semi-Crystalline Products (SCP) business unit. These highly innovative products allow for the design of lighter-weight plastic parts to replace metal parts in automobiles, contributing to fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. In addition, Durethan and Pocan enable carmakers and car parts suppliers to achieve considerable savings through cheaper production and easier assembly.
The U.S. is the largest market for high-tech plastics, with the automotive industry at the forefront and increased CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) fuel efficiency standards.
The global demand for high-tech plastics is expected to increase by roughly 7%/yr through 2020.
Additionally, Lanxess and DuPont will double the capacity of their joint compounding facility for polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) in Hamm-Uentrop, Germany. The partner companies will invest an extra €10 million in the facility. The expansion is expected to create nine new jobs in addition to the 70 positions already in existence. Production is scheduled to begin in 2012. The plant is one of the largest of its kind in the world and was opened in 2004.