Lanxess launches new plastics plant in US


Specialty chemicals group Lanxess has opened its first high-tech plastics production plant in Gastonia, North Carolina, US.

"Lanxess predicted the global demand for high-tech plastics to increase by about seven percent each year through to 2020."

The new EUR15m ($20m) plant is expected to produce 20,000 metric tons of plastic and also create a few jobs.

In order to meet the increasing demand for lightweight plastics and customer needs, the new plant will mix and refine polyamide and polybutylene terephthalate with special additives and glass fibres.

The plant will produce high-tech plastics brands, Durethan and Pocan, which have several applications, including for body components, oil pans, coolant pipes, battery housings, steering rods, pedals and pedal brackets.

The company said that the plastics are used to produce lighter plastic parts to replace metal ones in motor vehicles and also help reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Axel Heitmann, Lanxess CEO, said: "With our new plant in Gastonia, we are now really close to our US automotive customers and can support them in the development of lightweight, energy-saving vehicles even better than before."

Lanxess predicted the global demand for high-tech plastics to increase by about seven percent each year through to 2020.

The company is investing about EUR125m ($163m) to expand its global production network for high-tech plastics from 2012-2014.