Fina Oil & Chemical Co. of Dallas began taking commercial grade, homopolymer resin from its new, 400 million-pound-per-year polypropylene resin production line Dec. 21. The new line gives the company rated capacity to produce 1.4 billion pounds of PP a year at its LaPorte, Texas, complex, according to Jim Bob Carpenter, general manager for Fina's PP business. Carpenter spoke in an interview Dec. 21 by telephone from his office in Dallas.
With the new line, Carpenter claimed Fina's LaPorte complex became the largest PP production facility in North America, and the second-largest in the world.
The new line is the eighth PP production train Fina has at LaPorte.
Further, he claimed the addition of the line boosted Fina's worldwide ranking in PP production to second, behind Montell Polyolefins, of Hoofddorp, the Netherlands.
Fina now can produce 2.4 billion pounds of PP at its facilities around the world. Montell Polyolefins produces nearly 7.5 billion pounds.
On Dec. 21, Carpenter said the new line was producing at about 75 percent of its rated production capacity. It was expected to reach 100 percent of capacity within several weeks, he said. The line uses Fina's proprietary production technology.
The new line initially was producing homopolymer resins, and Carpenter said its production will be coordinated with the company's other lines to increase Fina's offerings of both homopolymer and random copolymer resins.
With the new resins, Carpenter said Fina intends to develop new markets in resins used for injection molding applications, while increasing its sales to film and fiber markets.
Separately, Carpenter noted that Fina made a commercial production run of isotactic PP resins in October, and continues to develop those resin products. It also is continuing to produce both syndiotactic PP, which uses metallocene catalyst technology, and its random copolymer products sold under the ``Super Z'' trade name. Fina claims the Super Z products have a higher ethylene copolymer content than any other commercially available PP.