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DSM invests in engineering plastics

September 18, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 38

DSM plans to build two new engineering plastics plants at its site in Geleen, the Netherlands, and a related fibers facility in the U.S. The company will spend about $125 million on the Dutch plants, which will make two of the firm's top specialty products: Stanyl nylon 46 and Stamylan UH ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene. The new plants, which will each double existing capacity, are scheduled to come onstream in 2008. At the same time, DSM will invest "several tens of millions of dollars" to build a new line for its Dyneema high-strength fiber in Greenville, N.C. Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of the year, and start-up is set for early 2008. One of Stamylan UH's key uses is as a raw material for the Dyneema fibers, which are woven into bullet-resistant armor, ropes and cables, safety gloves, and other high-strength products. Although DSM announced three Dyneema expansions in North Carolina last year, Nico Gerardu, a member of the firm's managing board, says demand continues to exceed the capacity to supply the fibers. DSM is the world's only producer of nylon 46, which is used in applications such as cell phones, cars, and computers. With that new plant, DSM will operate two facilities in Geleen that supply Stanyl base resin to company operations in Europe, the U.S., Japan, and, most recently, China. Additionally, DSM says it has decided to expand a plant in Geleen making diaminobutane, the key monomer in the production of Stanyl.



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