Speciality chemicals and plastics producer Evonik (Essen / Germany; www.evonik.com
) is on track with plans for the groups largest capital investment in its home market, a new EUR 400m production complex for the high-performance polymer PA 12 at Marl / Germany. The investment was first revealed in March 2018 see Plasteurope.com of 19.03.2018
. The new facility due to start-up in 2021 will lift overall capacity by 50%, supplementing the existing 40 000 t/y plant in the Westphalian chemical park. Capacity for PA 12 precursors at Marl will also be upgraded.
Evonik said the additional product will help the company meet strong demand from attractive growth markets such as the automotive industry, oil and gas pipelines and 3D printing. When announcing the project, Evonik said it regards itself as well positioned to supply future production of hybrid and electric vehicles. Along with demand growth, the new capability is also designed to improve long-term security of supply. Following an explosion in its CDT unit at Marl in 2012, the group was unable to resume deliveries of the high performance polymer for eight months see Plasteurope.com of 05.12.2012
In February last year, Evonik opened its new Vestosint PA 12 powder plant in Marl. This facility primarily produces high-performance powders for the rapidly growing 3D printing market see Plasteurope.com of 19.02.2018
. Ralf Düssel, head of Evonik's High Performance Polymers Business Line that produces the Vestamid PA 12 resin and its Vestamid powder, said the current construction project is a real challenge. As it is located in the direct vicinity of ongoing production, special safety precautions are required. Some 80 engineers are working on the new plant alongside an unnamed well-known, globally active technical service provider for the detail engineering of individual sub-projects.
With its current 40,000 t/y capability, Evonik accounts for about a third of the PA 12 market, according to PIEs Polyglobe database (www.polyglobe.net
). Its main established competitors are Frances Arkema (Colombes; www.arkema.com
), Switzerlands Ems (Domat; www.ems-group.com
) and Japans Ube (Tokyo; www.ube.com
), but a number of Chinese manufacturers have begun moving into the market.