Advanced Composites Inc. is adding almost 75 million pounds of polypropylene compounding capacity at plants in Ohio and Mexico.
ACI — a joint venture between Tokyo firms Mitsui Chemicals Inc. and Prime Polymer Co. Ltd. — will add about 46 million pounds of capacity in Sidney, Ohio, and about 29 million pounds in Aguascalientes, Mexico. In a Nov. 7 news release, officials with Mitsui and Prime Polymer said the new capacity is needed to meet growing demand from the automotive sector.
North American auto builds have been improving and now are close to levels reached before the recession.
“Although the North American automotive industry was negatively impacted by the global financial crisis, the market has returned to normalcy with forecasts of significant growth in the future,” officials said in the release.
The expansion in North America will help the joint venture “contribute to global strategies of automobile manufacturers,” Mitsui managing executive officer Akio Ayukawa added.
The expansions also will allow ACI to improve its R&D operations at both sites. The firm already in the last 18 months had announced plans to increase its PP compounding capacity by 90 million pounds in Sidney and by 55 million pounds in Aguascalientes.
When the expansions are complete, ACI will operate almost 640 million pounds of PP compounding capacity in Sidney and more than 180 million pounds in Aguascalientes.