Exactly a month after starting up an expansion at its major Marl production unit, German specialty chemicals company Evonik Industries AG has announced new investment plans at the site.
In a March 14 statement, the Essen-based company said the a 400 million euro ($494.5 million) project would increase nylon 12 production capacity at the site by 50 percent.
The project marks Evonik's largest investment in Germany, as the company expects strong growth for the high-performance nylon 12 in the automotive sector, the oil and gas industry and 3D printing.
As part of the project, the existing nylon 12 production is to be supplemented with additional manufacturing facilities for the polymer and its precursors.
The expansion is expected to become operational in early 2021.
“We are planning Evonik's largest investment in Germany,” said Christian Kullmann, chairman of the Evonik executive board in a news release.
“This investment is a perfect fit to our strategy of consistent focus on specialty chemicals since polyamide 12 … is an important part of our strategic growth engine smart materials,” Kullmann said.
For Kullmann, Germany is an attractive and competitive industrial location, with the workforce in Marl being “highly qualified.”
The project will create 150 jobs.
According to Evonik, the nylon 12 market is posting annual growth rates exceeding 5 percent worldwide, significantly outpacing the global gross domestic product.
In the specialty application of 3D printing, growth rates even reach double digits, the company added.
On Feb. 14, Evonik opened of a new production line for of its Vestosint-branded nylon12 polymers in Marl, saying it increased production capacity by 50 percent.
Evonik did not give further details on the current production capacity.
The expansion plans come six years after a fatal explosion at the Marl complex, Evonik's largest production site, which killed two in March 2012.
The explosion led to shortage of supply of materials using cyclododecatriene feedstocks — including nylon 12 — at the time.