DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (Nov. 26, 4:35 p.m. EST) — Paris-based petrochemicals giant Atofina last month announced plans to expand its European polypropylene production capacity, while one of its U.S. units announced plans to enter a global tin-additives joint venture, while also expanding existing additives capacity at a Kentucky plant.
Atofina plans in early 2002 to start up a new Spheripol-process PP plant in Feluy, Belgium, with the capacity to produce 838 million pounds a year. At the same time, it plans to gain additional capacity by debottlenecking in Gonfreville L'Orcher, France, where it uses its own gas-phase technology.
The world's third-largest PP resin maker announced at K 2001 in Dusseldorf that the expansions will boost its overall PP production capabilities to 4.63 billion pounds per year , with just under half of that residing in LaPorte, Texas.
Meanwhile, Atofina Chemicals Inc. in Philadelphia said it is creating a worldwide joint venture with Richmond, Va.-based Albemarle Corp. to make and market organotin intermediates, which are used as heat stabilizers in PVC. The partners said their as-yet-unnamed venture should be operational by Jan. 1.
They intend to integrate Albemarle's aluminum alkyl position with Atofina's tin intermediate production capability, to develop an integrated manufacturing chain that will produce a long-term, sustainable advantage for butyltin- and octyltin-based stabilizers.
Separately, Atofina Chemicals announced it was significantly expanding production in Carrollton, Ky., of stannous-tin compounds, used in the manufacture of flexible polyurethane foam.