DSM BASING STRATEGY ON NEW NYLON PLANT

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DSM NV has announced plans to build a nylon 6 polymerization plant that company officials are describing as the linchpin of the company's nylon strategy for the next 25 years.

The firm plans to start construction in early summer on the facility, which is scheduled to start operating by late 1998 at the Dutch firm's Augusta, Ga., site. The new plant will include production of nylon 6 for engineering plastics and carpet fiber applications.

The new plant will create 20 new jobs. Estimates on the plant's capacity and construction cost were not disclosed.

With the new plant, DSM's 31-year-old caprolactam-producing Augusta works will reach full integration from monomer to compounded resin. The existing Augusta plants are undergoing a 50 million-pound-per-year expansion that will be completed this summer. The site's current capacity is about 396 million pounds annually.

DSM's only other polymerization plant is in the Netherlands.

Company officials said the new plant is part of DSM's effort to focus its compounding activities on the company's nylon 6 and 4/6, polycarbonate, polybutylene terephthalate and polyester elastomer resins.

``We're at a stage where we needed to make a decision on production, it was just a matter of where,'' said David Anderson, product manager for DSM's Akulon-brand nylon 6 and 6/6 resins. ``The plant will allow us to feed our own needs right here,'' he said.

DSM's Engineering Plastics division manufactures and markets Akulon in addition to the company's Stanyl-brand high-temperature 4/6 nylon resins.

DSM Engineering Plastics Inc., which has plants in the United States and the Netherlands, accounts for about 15 percent of the world's caprolactam production and claims to be the global leader in merchant caprolactam supply.

DSM, based in Heerlen, the Netherlands, includes DSM Chemicals North America Inc. and DSM Engineering Plastics Inc.

The company posts annual sales of about $6 billion, including sales of nearly $1 billion in the United States.