Solvay SA is expanding its global production capacity in sulfone polymers through building a new production plant in India and expanding capacity in the United States.
The investments follow Belgian chemicals producer's announcement last year that it would increase its sulfone polymer capacity by more than 35% in the next five years.
The move, said Solvay, is to meet the “significant” demand growth from mainly the medical and water treatment industries for this high-performance thermoplastic material.
The investment size was not disclosed.
According to Solvay, the new India plant will be dedicated to polyethersulfone (PESU) in Panoli, India.
Construction of the plant, said the Brussels-based chemical group, is underway and production should reach full capacity mid-2019.
The company is also investing in capacity expansion and process optimisation at its US polymer and monomer units in Marietta, Ohio, and Augusta, Ga.
"Solvay's expansion firms up our leading position in sulfone polymers which benefit from booming demand in fast-growing industries such as water purification and healthcare," said Augusto Di Donfrancesco, president of Solvay's specialty polymers global business unit.
The thermoplastic polymers, which are soluble in conventional processing solvents, are used make flat sheet and tubular membranes as well as hollow fiber.
The high-temperature thermoplastics impart high fibre strength, toughness, rigidity and hydrolytic stability, according to Solvay.
Solvay says its sulfone polymers Radel PPSU (polyphenylsulfone), Veradel PESU (polyethersulfone) and Udel PSU (polysulfone) are applied in a range of highly competitive industries, such as aerospace, automotive, water and electronics as well as consumer and construction markets.