Responding to the growing demand for polyester film, Hoechst Diafoil Co. is expanding production capacity at its Greer, S.C., headquarters film plant. By 1998, the company plans a capacity expansion of 15 percent from its current level of 110 million pounds per year, said spokeswoman Christina De Vlaming. The company markets its PET films under the Hostaphan trade name.
The expansion will be the result of process and capital improvements on existing extru-sion lines. The company would not provide a cost estimate for the project.
The expansion comes on the heels of additional improvements made during the past three years that increased capacity by 20 percent.
Worldwide demand for polyester films is expected to increase 2-3 percent annually during the next four years, said Hoechst Diafoil President Joe Ritchie, and several other major producers of polyester films also have announced expansions recently.
Most recently, Toray Plastics America Inc. said in March that it will spend about $100 million to add a third PET line at its North Kingstown, R.I., plant. DuPont Films of Wilmington, Del., also is upgrading a polyester line in Circleville, Ohio.
Hoechst Diafoil Co. is part of an international joint venture among Hoechst Celanese, based in Chatham, N.J.; Hoechst AG, of Frankfurt, Germany; and Mitsu-bishi Kasei Corp. and Mitsubishi Plastics Industries Ltd., both of Tokyo. The joint venture operates plants in the United States, Germany and Japan. In March the group formed a new joint venture company to build a $20 million PET films plant in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Diafoil makes a wide range of polyester film products, from packaging to solar film, including a line of pre-treated films for water-based coatings and adhesives.