The paint is still wet on Cyclics Corp.'s first production plant, but the Schenectady, N.Y.-based plastics maker already is scouting locations for plant No. 2.
Production of Cyclics' CBT-brand polybutylene terephthalate will start in January at a 5.5 million-pound-capacity plant in Schwarzheide, Germany.
More than half of the plant's output is sold out, and plans are in place to double its capacity by late 2005, officials said at an Oct. 23 news conference at K 2004 in Dusseldorf.
``We're searching for our next site in North America or Europe, but we're open to any region,'' Cyclics Chief Executive Officer Ted Eveleth said. ``Proximity to low-priced raw materials and energy costs are important.''
Site selection should be finished by the second quarter of 2005 and the second plant should be operating in 2009, Eveleth added. Cyclics shares its current manufacturing site with BASF Corp., which supplies Cyclics with PBT feedstock.
Cyclics' CBT product is sold in liquid form and polymerizes when molded. The firm purchased the patented technology in 1999 from GE Plastics, which developed it to improve the performance of polycarbonate. Cyclics investor and board member Walter Robb was senior vice president of research at GE Plastics when the technology was developed.
The material offers comparable price and performance to nylon 11 and 12 and polyphenylene sulfide, according to global marketing director John Ciovacco.
CBT won its first commercial application in vacuum formed rods, blocks and sheets made by Emerson & Cuming, a processor based in Billerica, Mass. The firm also is developing a CBT resin composite for 41-foot-long wind-turbine blades in a partnership with Gaoth Tec Teo of Galway, Ireland, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. of Tokyo.
P-Group, an engineering resin compounder in Ferrara, Italy, is another early CBT customer. Cyclics also has product development alliances in place with Dow Automotive, Alcan Composites and Davy Process Technology.
German banking firm KFW Ipex-Bank provided Cyclics with $68 million in September for working capital and construction of the new plant. The financing package included grants and subsidies from state and federal governments in Germany.
Cyclics employs almost 100 at an office and testing center in Schenectady and at its site in Germany.