WEB EXCLUSIVE: Three expansions in resin production and three in compounding were announced recently:
•BASF in Germany (U.S. office in Florham Park, N.J.) boosted capacity for its biodegradable Ecoflex aliphatic copolyester from 30 million to 162 million lb/yr. BASF also ramped up compounding capacity for Ecovio, a blend of Ecoflex with PLA. Total capacity increase for biodegradable plastics is 132 million lb/yr.
•Octal in Oman (U.S. office in Plano, Texas), the world’s largest producer of PET sheet, plans to increase capacity for integrated PET resin and sheet production by June 2012. The expansion will add 1.159 billion lb to the current 880 million lb of “direct-to-sheet” capacity.
•RheTech, Inc., Whitmore Lake, Mich., is investing $2 million to open a second engineered thermoplastics compounding plant in Blacksburg, S.C., by June. It will compound a range of products, including filled and reinforced nylons.
•Alliance Polymers & Services (APS), Romulus, Mich., a relatively new distributor of TPEs, has founded a compounding division. The firm distributes styrenic TPEs and olefinic TPVs from Polymax of China, as well as Elastollan TPUs from BASF. Its new APS Compounding div. will allow it to customize grades. Two twin-screw extruders have been purchased, to become operational starting this spring.