SHELBY, N.C.-Hoechst Tech-nical Polymers sees demand for polybutylene terephthalate growing at nearly 8 percent per year, so it is expanding its production capacity for PBT nearly 50 percent. Hoechst Technical Poly-mers, a unit of Hoechst Cela-nese Corp. of Summit, N.J., said it will expand its Shelby PBT plant by the end of June.
Further, Hoechst is considering another expansion of the Shelby facility for the first quarter of 1997, according to John Cirillo, business director for Hoechst's polyester resins and fibers business in the Americas. Cirillo spoke in a recent interview from his office in Dallas.
The Shelby facility supplies both fibers and molding res-ins. The resins are used do-mestically and are exported to Europe and South America, Cirillo said. Hoechst also produces PBT resins through a joint venture with Daicel Chemical Industries Ltd. -Polyplastics Co. Ltd. - in Japan.
Hoechst has compounding facilities for PBT at Shelby; Bishop, Texas; Florence, Ky.; and Telford, England.
Worldwide demand has producers operating at nearly 90 percent of their rated production capacities, making nearly 880 million pounds of PBT resins a year, Cirillo said. Demand is growing in the automotive, electrical and electronics and fiber-optic markets.