Düsseldorf, Germany — Solvay Group is venturing into Mexico with a nylon compounding unit aimed at the automotive market.
The plant in San Luis Potosí will be co-located with Chunil Engineering Co. Ltd., a South Korean Tier 1 supplier and a major Solvay customer. The unit will have annual production capacity of around 22 million pounds and will create 30 new jobs.
“This is being driven by the auto value chain moving to Mexico,” engineering plastics General Manager Peter Browning said in an Oct. 21 interview at K 2016. He added that the unit is a turnkey operation acquired from supplier Coperion.
The model of co-locating with a customer could be used by Brussels-based Solvay in other parts of the world, such as Russia or Southeast Asia, Browning said. The Mexico plant is set to be operational in July.
Solvay (Hall 6/C61) also intends to increase its sulfone polymer production capacity by 35 percent over the next five years at sites in Ohio and India. The need for new capacity is being driven by demand from medical and plumbing markets, where the materials are used for filtration, Senior Executive Vice President Jens Hoeltje said at K 2016.
Recently, Solvay has had success with high-heat grades of Technyl-brand nylon for under-hood engine parts such as air induction hoods, according to Browning. Grades that offer improved heat performance now are commercially available.