Evonik Industries to expand its Asian capacities

(PresseBox) ( Essen, )
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- Group to expand specialty polymer production in Shanghai and Taichung
- New MATCH supercomplex in China to be expanded
- Klaus Engel: "Our polymer business in Asia is showing remarkable growth rates."

Three new projects reflect Evonik Industries' confidence in the future perspectives of Asian business. The Group is already one of the leading global providers of methacrylate chemical products. Evonik now plans to expand its production capacities for PMMA molding compounds at its facilities south of Shanghai, China, and in Taichung, Taiwan. Furthermore, Evonik is expanding its methacrylic acid capacities in the Shanghai MATCH supercomplex, which began operating just five months ago.

"We want to grow in particular in places where markets develop at aboveaverage rates. Our polymer business in Asia is showing remarkable growth rates. That's why we decided to invest quickly and consistently in the expansion of our plants," explained Klaus Engel, chairman of Evonik Industries' Executive Board.

The Taichung plant began running in 2007 as part of the joint venture Evonik Forhouse Optical Polymers Corporation. It produces some 40,000 metric tons of PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds a year for light guide panels used in flatscreen monitors, and demand for these flatscreen monitors has risen significantly, particularly in Asia. The expanded Taichung plant, with capacities to produce another 20,000 metric tons a year, is scheduled to become operational in the second quarter of 2011.

Since November 2008, in its first expansion stage, the Shanghai PMMA plant had been producing some 18,000 metric tons a year. The products are supplied as a comprehensive line of PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds to various industries in Asia, including the automotive, lighting, and electronics industries. The demand for PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds also has increased considerably in these market segments, prompting the company to accelerate the construction of a second expansion stage with capacities of another 18,000 metric tons a year. The expanded production capacities will become operational in the second half of 2011.

Beyond that, Evonik has expanded its production capacity of methacrylic acid at the MATCH supercomplex in Shanghai to 25,000 metric tons.

Production at the expanded capacity should begin this May.

These steps are the continuation of a series of Asian investments for Evonik Industries: Five months ago, in November 2009, the Group finished building the MATCH supercomplex for producing polymers, polymer precursors, and coating systems in Shanghai and began operating the €250 million plant. The plant is the Group's largest investment in China.

The Performance Polymers Business Unit of Evonik Industries is a worldwide manufacturer of PMMA products sold under the PLEXIGLAS® trademark on the European, Asian, African and Australian continents and under the trademark ACRYLITE® in the Americas.
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