DSM PLANNING TO ADD POLYPROPYLENE VOLUME

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DSM NV plans to raise its polypropylene resin capacity during 1997 by 220 million pounds per year at its three plants in the Netherlands.

DSM of Heerlen, Netherlands also signed a melamine technology and development joint venture in the United States with Melamine Chemicals Inc. of Donaldsville, La.

DSM, which processes part of its present PP resin output into compounds chiefly for the automotive parts sector, opened its newest plant in November at Geleen, Netherlands, adding 330 million pounds per year of capacity.

It plans to achieve its new capacity this year by streamlining all three plants. By next year total capacity will reach 1.21 billion pounds per year, according to DSM Chairman Simon de Bree.

Meanwhile, DSM said that the terms of its recent melamine deal call for it to pay $25 million to MCI in return for worldwide rights to the U.S. firm's M-II and M-IV patents and know-how. It expects to complete the deal within three months.

The companies will cooperate to improve the high-pressure technologies using MCI's M-II production plant at Donaldsville for testing purposes. DSM will assist in modifying MCI's low-pressure melamine plant to introduce improvements developed by DSM Melamine.

De Bree also reported that last month DSM raised its 50 percent share in DEX-Plastomers, the new joint venture with Exxon Chemical Co. to produce plastomers based on metallocene technology, to 60 percent. The venture began commercial-scale production in December.

DSM has contributed polyethylene from an existing 264 million-pound-per-year plant, while the metallocene technology comes from Exxon.

Another deal just concluded by DSM with Dow Chemical Co. has secured long-term supply of up to 66 million pounds per year of polycarbonate from Dow's new German polymer plant at Stade. DSM processes PC into high-value compounds.