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DAK Americas to close down North Carolina PET resin plant

AKRON, OHIO — DAK Americas LLC's decision to close its PET resin plant in Wilmington, N.C., is featured in this week's Material Insights video. Also this week we feature news that Shintech Inc. plans to add almost 700 million pounds of PVC capacity, as well as an advanced look at some of the technology and products Bayer MaterialScience will highlight at K 2013.

Published: June 24, 2013 2:16 pm ET
Updated: June 24, 2013 4:20 pm ET

AKRON, OHIO — DAK Americas LLC's decision to close its PET resin plant in Wilmington, N.C., is featured in this week's Material Insights video.

DAK said last week that it will close the plant, which is known as the Cape Fear plant, by September. DuPont opened the factory in the 1960s, and it makes PET, purified terephthalic acid and polyester staple fiber. DAK bought the plant in 2001.

Closing Cape Fear will eliminate 600 jobs, including 350 DAK employees.

This is significant news because the PET market in North America has been in an oversupply situation, and that may get worse because there are plans to add a lot of new capacity. Thailand's Indorama Group has announced plans to add about a billion pounds of capacity in North America, although the company has not announced the location for that project yet. On top of that, M&G Group is adding 2.2 billion pounds of capacity in Corpus Christi, Texas.

In other materials news, Shintech Inc. plans to add almost 700 million pounds of PVC capacity as part of a $500 million expansion of its plants in Louisiana.

Shintech's parent firm — Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd. — announced last week that it will add 660 million pounds of PVC capacity in Louisiana by 2015.

The project also will include new capacity for two PVC feedstocks: vinyl chloride monomer and caustic soda.

Finally, Plastics News senior reporter Frank Esposito visited Bayer MaterialScience last week, covering the company's pre-K show news conference in Leverkusen, Germany. The company gave Esposito an advance look at some of the technology and products it will highlight at the Düsseldorf fair, including its role in the Solar Impulse aircraft, and its plans to build a commercial-scale plant that will make plastics from carbon dioxide.

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