DSM planning North American nylon plant

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Materials firm Royal DSM NV plans to build a new nylon resin plant in North America, but no decision has been made on the plant’s exact location.

A DSM spokeswoman said July 22 that the plant likely would be in the southeastern United States to serve the firm’s customers there. The plant will make film grades of Akulon-brand nylon 6 resin for flexible food packaging and other segments, officials with DSM said in a July 21 news release. Films based on Akulon have strong oxygen barrier properties and can reduce the amount of food spoiled and wasted, they added.

DSM — based in Heerlen, the Netherlands — currently compounds nylon and other engineering resins at a plant in Evansville, Ind. The firm also makes nylon feedstock caprolactam at a plant in Augusta, Ga. Construction on the new nylon plant is set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014, with completion targeted for mid-2016.

“Adding locally produced Akulon grades for film to our North American portfolio complements our offering and strengthens our position to optimally serve our global and local customers,” Engineering Plastics Americas President Richard Pieters said in the release.

DSM posted sales of $11.7 billion in 2013, up more than 5 percent vs. 2012.

The DSM project is the latest in a series of global nylon capacity additions to be completed or announced so far this year. In Europe, Lanxess AG opened a plant with almost 200 million pounds of capacity in Antwerp, Belgium, in July, while Evonik Industries AG added 11 million pounds of capacity for specialty nylon 12 in Marl, Germany, in late June. Those moves followed the late May announcement that Polish chemicals firm planned to open a plant with almost 180 million pounds of annual nylon 6 capacity in Tarnow, Poland, by 2016.

BASF SE bolstered its nylon assets in China earlier this year by adding more than 100 million pounds of compounding capacity for nylon and PBT at its plant in Shanghai.