Solvay is building a new specialty polymers resin unit in the United States, significantly expanding its production capacity of PEEK (polyether etherketone) and solidifying itself as a leader in the industry with a unique site presence in both the United States and in Asia.
The new unit at Solvay’s Specialty Polymers site in Augusta, Georgia, is expected to come on stream in mid-2016 and, combined with the expansion already underway at the site in Panoli, India, raise Solvay’s total PEEK neat resin production capacity to more than 2,500 metric tons worldwide. Collectively, Solvay will invest more than US$85 million in these two expansions.
These investments affirm Solvay’s long term commitment to the industry to keep pace with growing demand for KetaSpire® PEEK and AvaSpire® PAEK. These two ultra-polymers play a major role in light-weighting, reducing energy consumption and in enabling high performance in demanding applications such as healthcare, electronics, oil & gas, aeronautics and automotive.
“This major expansion drive will make Solvay the only player in the industry to produce PEEK at two different sites in two different, growing regions,” said Augusto Di Donfrancesco, President of Solvay’s Specialty Polymers Global Business Unit (GBU). “The new plant in the United States together with the one in India will provide unmatched security of neat resin supply. These investments reinforce our long-term commitment to our customers worldwide.”
The new unit will be located alongside Solvay Specialty Polymers’ existing resin and monomer production units in Augusta, and benefit from the site’s proximity to the GBU’s Research & Innovation center in Alpharetta, Georgia. The new PEEK unit will use the same processes and technologies as Solvay’s well-proven and highly reliable Panoli plant. Together, these units will produce resins with industry-leading consistency and quality that form the foundation for Solvay’s KetaSpire® and AvaSpire® products.
Solvay Specialty Polymers has the industry’s widest range of high and ultra-high performance polymers and these expansions will strengthen its position as a leader in PEEK and PAEK.