PITTSFIELD, MASS. (July 24, 12:15 p.m. ET) — Sabic Innovative Plastics is working on a new production line that will increase capacity for Stamax-brand polypropylene composite resins at its plant in Genk, Belgium.
The new capacity is needed because of increased demand from the automotive market, officials with Pittsfield, Mass.-based Sabic IP said in a July 24 news release. The new line is expected to be operational in the second half of 2013.
Stamax is a long glass fiber-filled PP that allows for lightweight parts that can allow designers to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, officials added. Existing auto applications include front-end modules, door modules, seating structures and tailgate structures. It's also making inroads in under-hood applications where heat is non-critical, they said.
The Genk plant “was proactively built in scalability in anticipation of customers' future needs,” Sabic IP European automotive leader Leon Jacobs said in the release. The plant is the largest greenfield PP compounding plant ever built in Europe, according to Sabic IP.
The firm also produces Stamax at a plant in Bay St. Louis, Miss. That plant was modeled on the design and technology of the Genk plant.