Victrex creates joint venture in China for new PEEK plant
The development of PEEK polymer capacity in China sets the stage for further regional growth opportunities and further differentiates Victrex’s range of PEEK and PAEK grades.
Polymer supplier Victrex plc is creating a joint venture between its subsidiary, Victrex Hong Kong Ltd., and Yingkou Xingfu Chemical Co. Ltd., to build and operate a new PEEK polymer manufacturing facility in Liaoning, China.
In a Jan. 14 statement, British-based Victrex said that it will be the majority partner and lead the joint venture. “[We] will benefit by further differentiating and complementing its portfolio of PEEK and PAEK grades, in anticipation of a range of significant long-term growth opportunities across several end markets in China, as well as aligning with China’s ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative, where specifying domestically produced PEEK in certain applications is expected to gain momentum,” the company said.
Victrex already has an established relationship with its joint venture partner through its monomer supply chain, with Yingkou Xingfu having significant experience of developing and operating chemical facilities in China which meet international quality, process and environmental standards.
The announcement builds on Victrex’s recent appointment of a general manager for China and an increased commercial presence, as well as its technical service offering to customers, which includes its existing technical centre in Shanghai.
“The investment sets the stage for Victrex to serve some of its regional customers from a local facility and in a more diverse way,” the statement added. “Victrex will also oversee the management of process know-how and intellectual property during development of the polymerization process.”
Victrex’s share of the overall investment, the majority of which comprises capital investment during construction, is expected to total 32 million euros funded in cash, with approximately 28 million euros of capital expenditure and 4 million euros of start-up costs.
Commissioning of the new facility is anticipated in early 2022, and it will eventually be capable of producing up to 1,500 tonnes per annum.
The joint venture will establish Victrex Hong Kong Ltd as the majority partner with a 75 per cent share, with leadership being assumed by Victrex once the facility is operational.
The investment follows on from Victrex commencing a debottlenecking project at its main Hillhouse UK facilities in fiscal year 2020, which will add up to 1,000 tonnes per annum of nameplate capacity when completed.