Lanxess AG continues to boost capacity at its 4-year-old compounding plant in Wuxi, China, where it makes semi-crystalline thermoplastics.
Officials for the Leverkusen, Germany, firm said at Chinaplas in Shanghai that Lanxess (Wuxi) Chemicals Co. Ltd. will invest in a third production line that will boost capacity there by nearly half, to about 132 million pounds a year. The line should be operating by mid-2011.
This investment will serve the growing demand from Chinese and Asian customers for premium, high-performance plastics, mainly driven by the booming automotive industry, Lanxess Chairman and CEO Axel Heitmann said in a news release.
The Wuxi plant's products include Durethan-brand nylon 6 and 6/6 and Pocan-brand polyester polybutylene terephthalates.
The company noted that China is now the world's largest automotive market, with unit sales projected to rise by 8 percent to more than 14 million vehicles this year.
While officials did not mention how much this latest expansion will cost, previous reports indicate the 2006 launch of the venture involved an investment of some 20 million euros (about $27 million at that time).
Lanxess employs about 1,000 in Greater China, accounting for sales of 584 million euros ($779 million) in 2009.
Heitmann said: Thanks in large part to continued growth in China, our group earnings are expected to be significantly higher than in 2009. The first months of 2010 already have shown strong double-digit growth for sales in China. Our outlook remains positive as customers continue to place substantial orders.
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