Spartanburg, S.C. — Milliken & Co. plans to expand its plant in Blacksburg, S.C., that makes a plastics additive used to clarify polypropylene.
The plant, which Spartanburg-based Milliken said will be its largest, is scheduled to start production in 2020. The project will boost capacity of Millad NX 8000 clarifier by about 50 percent.
Milliken said it moved the timeline for the project up two years because of growing global demand for the material.
"It is one of the most successful products in the history of plastic additives, and arguably the most important in the past 30 years," Allen Jacoby, vice president for Milliken's Plastic Additives business, said in a news release.
In related news, Milliken recently announced that it was partnering with recycler PureCycle Technologies and food and beverage company Nestlé SA on a project that will use PP clarifiers.
Chicago-based PureCycle is in the process of launching a recycling plant in Ironton, Ohio, using technology licensed from Procter & Gamble Co. Backers of the $120 million project, at the site of a former Dow Chemical Co. polystyrene plant that closed in 2016, plan to produce recycled PP resin that's virtually the same as new.
PureCycle announced plans to reopen the plant in 2017, and Nestlé had previously announced that it was working with PureCycle to develop new recycled-content PP packaging.
What's new is that now Milliken has formed an exclusive relationship for PureCycle to use its additives.
"These partners are helping us accelerate as we bring this solution to the market," said Mike Otworth, CEO of PureCycle Technologies, in a news release. "This is a validation of our method, and it will help us continue to move even more quickly as we make plastics recycling a reality."
The Ironton plant will have capacity to produce 105 million pounds of recycled PP starting in 2021, according to PureCycle.