Philippe Hanck, business director for DuPont Performance Materials in Asia Pacific made the “pre-announcement” of the new compounding facility during the Chinaplas 2016 Media Day, held April 23 in Shanghai one day before the world’s second largest plastics event opens.
Hanck said DuPont’s existing compounding site in Shenzhen will be shuttered, with its production folded into the new operation. The company would not reveal more details about the size of the investment in the plant, or its capacity, saying more details would be made available prior to its official inauguration at the end of June.
Compounds based off DuPont’s Zytel, Zytel HTN, Crastin, Delrin, Bynel, and Fusabond materials will be made at the plant, which is to feature state-of-the-art technology, including the latest extrusion equipment. Apollo will be DuPont’s eighth manufacturing site in Asia Pacific, joining 13 in the Americas and five in Europe.
While he wouldn’t offer details on the new operation, Hanck did comment on the fact that this massive investment in China comes at a time when the overall Chinese economy is experiencing slower growth.
“There is a lot of talk about the new normal in China, a slowdown,” Hanck said, “and now DuPont comes out with a bigger plant, but our growth is not necessarily directly linked with the growth of the overall industry.” Noting that in specific areas it serves, like specialty packaging and automotive underhood metal replacement, there has actually been an acceleration in growth, Hanck explained that as greater China goes is not necessarily as DuPont goes.
“We can decouple DuPont’s growth from the broader economic numbers,” Hanck said. “This plant is really essential to continuing to serve our customers with a majority of locally produced polymers.”