With crystalline polystyrene and specialty styrenic polymers facilities under construction and planned for Altam¡ra, Mexico, BASF Corp. announced July 11 it intends to build a new high-impact PS facility. BASF said it will build a new production line at Joliet, Ill., to make 240 million pounds of HIPS a year.
The line will be put into production by the third quarter of 1998, the company said. It will be the fourth production line at Joliet. When the line is complete, BASF will have the capacity to produce 760 million pounds of PS per year at Joliet and 1.2 billion pounds in North America, the company said.
BASF is building a facility in Altam¡ra to make 315 million pounds of crystalline PS a year. That facility is to go into production in early 1997.
Additionally, the firm said it would begin construction in April of a plant in Altam¡ra to make 300 million pounds of specialty sty-renic polymers, including acrylonitrile styrene acrylate, styrene acrylonitrile, and ABS. The company plans to start production of specialty styrenic polymers there in the second half of 1998.
BASF officials could not be reached for further comment.
Executives at competitors, however, said they see demand for HIPS growing 4.5-5 percent per year, and that BASF's new facility will be needed to help producers keep up with demand.
However, two executives said they were surprised at BASF's continuing announcements about new PS production capacity because the company does not produce styrene monomer in North America.