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LANXESS completes U.S. capacity expansion for high-performance plastics
Second production line opens at Gastonia, NC plastics compounding plant
Pittsburgh, PA – January 7, 2016 – Specialty chemicals company LANXESS has started up a second production line for high-performance plastics compounding at its Gastonia, North Carolina facility, as planned. The new line represents an investment of about 15 million USD and doubles the site’s capacity.
The LANXESS Gastonia facility is operated by the High Performance Materials business unit and produces the high-performance plastics Durethan (polyamides) and Pocan (polybutylene terephthalates), which are used primarily in the automotive industry to manufacture lighter-weight plastic components that can replace metal parts in vehicles, contributing to greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
“The U.S. automotive sector remains strong, and the demand for engineering plastics in cars is growing,” said Antonis Papadourakis, LANXESS Corporation President and CEO, and head of the High Performance Materials business unit for the NAFTA region. “With our expanded capacity, we are in a position to support this growth and remain a reliable supplier to our North American customers.”
Lightweight automotive construction as key driver for high-performance plastics
The growing demand for high-performance plastic applications is being driven by rising car production and the trend towards more fuel-efficient automobiles. Automakers must meet government-mandated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations that will require an average fleet-wide fuel efficiency of 54.5 mpg by 2025.
“We see the need for innovative lightweight solutions in automotive engineering as a crucial part of the CAFE equation,” said Marcus Schaefer, head of marketing and sales for High Performance Materials, Americas. “LANXESS has continued to develop new materials and engineering tools to support our customers in this task, and now we have taken steps to serve our North American customers with fast access to the material when they need it.”
LANXESS is a global leader in plastic-metal hybrid and composites technologies that enable engineers to cost-efficiently reduce part weight in automobiles. Depending on the component, a part designed with high-performance plastics can weigh between 10-50% less than a metal version. LANXESS plastics are used, for example, in engine applications, door structures, front ends, pedals, and interior components. Another field of application for high-performance plastics from LANXESS is the electrical and electronics industry.
The High Performance Materials business unit has roughly 1,500 employees worldwide and operates production facilities in Germany, Belgium, China, India, Brazil and the United States. It is part of the Performance Polymers segment, which generated around EUR 4.1 billion in total sales in fiscal year 2014.
LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.0 billion in 2014 and about 16,300 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World) and FTSE4Good.
This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.