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The introductionnnnnnnnnn of a wave of lightweight plastics and announcements about manufacturing capacity expansions at the K plastics trade fair under way in Düsseldorf, Germany, indicate that leading plastics firms are in growth mode. More than 3,200 firms are exhibiting at the triennial event, which organizers estimate will draw more than 200,000 visitors. BASF, DuPont, Saudi Basic Industries Corp., and Wacker Chemie are among those keen to show how new blends of their plastics can be used by the auto industry to replace heavier metal and glass components and improve energy efficiency of vehicles. Slower economic growth around the world is not deterring companies from expanding capacities. Borouge, for example, is recruiting sales and marketing staffers in anticipation of more than doubling polyolefins production to about 4.5 million metric tons per year when it opens new facilities in Abu Dhabi in 2014.
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