By: Frank Esposito
June 27, 2014
Evonik Industries AG has added 11 million pounds of annual production capacity for nylon 12 resin at its plant in Marl, Germany — the same location that was the site of a fatal explosion and fire in early 2012.
Essen, Germany-based Evonik makes nylon 12 under the Vestamid trade name. The new expansion “continues a policy of constant adaptation to market needs over the years,” officials said in a June 27 news release.
“Vesatmid is a sought-after material on the market,” performance polymers head Michael Pack said in the release. “Substitutes, which were needed following the temporary outage of the CDT plant, have done well only in niche markets.”
The explosion occurred at a plant making nylon 12 feedstock cyclododecatriene (CDT). The resulting shortage led to severe global tightness of nylon 12, causing automotive suppliers to scramble to find replacement materials. Nylon 12 is used extensively in auto fuel lines and braking systems.
Evonik had the plant up and running six months later. At K 2013, officials said the firm had regained all sales volume lost because of the outage.
Officials added in the release that Evonik also plans to increase capacity for Vestosint-brand nylon powder in Marl.
Other recent growth initiatives for Evonik include a $2.5 million investment in FRX Polymers, a producer of halogen-free flame retardant polymers, and the opening of new medical device research centers in Hanau, Germany, and Birmingham, Ala.
Evonik employs 33,000 worldwide and posted sales of about $16.5 billion in 2013.