Formosa Plastics Corp. USA will add 140 million pounds of polypropylene capacity in Point Comfort, Texas, next year to produce a new line of reactor thermoplastic polyolefin alloys.
Livingston, N.J.-based Formosa will use technology recently licensed from Chisso Corp. of Tokyo. The alloys will be sold under the Newcon brand name.
Newcon alloys are composed of hard crystalline polymer segments and soft elastomeric segments. The alloys are produced with the Chisso gas-phase polymerization process and with a unique Chisso catalyst, Formosa officials said. Formosa already uses Chisso technology in half of its PP production in Point Comfort.
The alloys will be sold in an A Series - which touts impact strength at cold temperatures, flexibility and dimension stability - and an H Series - which stresses processability and impact resistance.
Injection molded applications for the new materials include bumper fascias, interior and exterior auto parts and flexible parts for appliances. Other uses include cast, blown and biaxially oriented PP films and flexible sheets.
Formosa spokesman Rob Thibault said the capacity addition will be ``a true expansion'' that will include the installation of new machinery, as opposed to a streamlining. The firm is unsure how many new jobs will be created by the project. No cost estimate was released.
The expansion is to begin in early 2004 and be completed by the fourth quarter, bringing Formosa's annual PP capacity in Point Comfort to about 1.6 billion pounds.
Ken Mounger, polyolefins vice president and general manager, called the licensing agreement a major step in Formosa's long-term strategy.