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Ticona posts growth in long-fiber thermoplastics

By: Frank Esposito

September 21, 2012

FLORENCE, KY. (Sept. 21, 1:20 p.m. ET) — The third quarter of 2012 was a record-breaker for the long-fiber reinforced thermoplastics business of Ticona.

Sulzbach, Germany-based Ticona set production records for LFRT materials during the quarter. The firm makes those materials at plants in Kaiserslautern, Germany; Winona, Minn.; and Nanjing, China.

Production details were not available, but officials said in a Sept. 20 news release that the increased output will help Ticona “meet increasing demand for this metal replacement material in innovative automotive, industrial, electrical and electronic and consumer applications.”

“Ticona is well-positioned to meet the continued global demand of LFRT products by our global customers, thanks to the success of our manufacturing staffs and their great production achievements,” Europe, Middle East and Africa director Bjorn Hofman said in the release.

A new LFRT pilot production line also will open in Kaiserslautern in the fourth quarter, officials added. Late last year, Ticona opened the world’s largest acetal production plant, with more than 300 million pounds of annual capacity in Frankfurt, Germany.

Ticona ranks as the world’s largest acetal maker and produces other specialty resins as well. The business is part of Celanese Corp. of Dallas. In the first half of 2012, Celanese’s Advanced Engineered Materials unit — including Ticona — posted sales of $640 million, down 5 percent from the year-ago period.