Milliken prepares to open major clarifier plant
The added capacity in Blacksburg, S.C. represents the largest clarifier plant investment in Milliken's history.
Materials supplier Milliken & Co. has announced plans to begin production at its new clarifier plant this fall in Blacksburg, S.C.
In a May 19 news release, officials with Spartanburg. S.C.-based Milliken called the capacity expansion “significant,” and said that will address “strong worldwide demand” for clarified plastic products. The new plant company will increase production capacity of Milliken’s Millad NX 8000 polypropylene (PP) clarifier by more than 50 per cent.
“This represents the largest clarifier plant investment in Milliken history,” said Cindy Boiter, president of Milliken’s chemicals business. “Engineering is complete, and we are in the process of commissioning the plant. When we launch production in the fall, it will allow us to address both current market needs and increasing demand for these products well into the future.”
“Global demand for Millad NX 8000 clarifier has grown at an 11 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for each of the past nine years,” Boiter added. “Global clarifier demand grew by 16 per cent in just the past two years,” outstripping the growth rates for global PP resin. “All regions have contributed to the growth of clarified PP, with Asia leading the way.”
Soaring energy prices have helped to spike interest in these types of resins or additives, which can help converters to save energy during processing and improve production efficiency, said Milliken. As a result of these certified savings, brand owners using PP clarified with Millad NX 8000 ECO can display a UL Environmental Claim Validation label on their injection molded parts.
“Brand owners and packaging producers are seeing how Millad NX 8000 can contribute to improved environmental and manufacturing results,” said Wim Van de Velde, Milliken’s global vice president, plastic additives. “It is one of the more important clarifier developments in recent memory.”
The pandemic has dramatically altered many consumer habits, perhaps permanently, in the case of booming e-commerce and the growing popularity of food-delivery services, added Milliken. Thin-wall injection molded containers made using clarified PP have proven to be a popular solution to packaging challenges facing those industries. “We don’t see that changing,” said Van de Velde.