Canadian Plastics

Sabic expanding global capacity for PEI and PPE resin production

Material supplier Sabic has announced projects in Asia and the Netherlands designed to increase global capacity for its Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) and Noryl polyphenylene ether (PPE) engineering resins.

February 13, 2018   Canadian Plastics

Material supplier Sabic has announced projects in Asia and the Netherlands designed to increase global capacity for its Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) and Noryl polyphenylene ether (PPE) engineering resins.

To expand the production capacity of Ultem resins for polyetherimide materials, Sabic plans to expand its production site based on the existing blending production base in Singapore. Pending final approval of the government, new production facilities scheduled to be built in Singapore are expected to be completed in the first half of 2021.

In addition, the company’s polyphenylene oxide (PPE) resin production line at the Bergen op Zoom plant in the Netherlands will also be re-enabled to produce the base resin PPE of Noryl resin and oligomer series. The retrofitting is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

“Increased customer demand, especially in Asia, prompted the further capacity expansion plans,” said Ernesto Occhiello, Sabic’s executive vice president, specialties. “While interim capacity gains for both Ultem and Noryl resins have been achieved, global demand for both product lines has increased significantly, and Sabic is planning to expand its capacity to support our customers’ growth aspirations.”

Ultem resins are currently produced in two locations, Mt. Vernon, Indiana, and Cartagena, Spain. The planned operations in Singapore will localize supply for customers in Asia, reducing lead times, especially for shorter qualification cycle applications. When fully operational, the Singapore facility is expected to increase capacity by 50 per cent over a 2018 baseline. “With the addition of Singapore, Sabic will be the only petrochemical company with the ability to produce the high heat resin in Asia, the Americas and Europe, a significant advantage for the company’s customers,” Occhiello said.

The decision to recommission the Bergen op Zoom Noryl resins facility will give Sabic’s customers a second source of PPE resins globally. When operational, the Bergen op Zoom facility is expected to add more than 40 per cent global capacity over a 2017 baseline. In the meantime, Sabic expects incremental manufacturing process improvements at the Selkirk, N.Y. and Mt. Vernon plants to provide increases in Noryl PPE resin and Ultem PEI resin production by the end of 2018.


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