Higher demand for antioxidants is leading SI Group to spend more than $50 million to increase production capacity for those additives at three sites in the U.S.
In a May 26 news release, officials with SI in Schenectady, N.Y., said the investment "demonstrates [the firm's] commitment to the expanding U.S. chemical market, with a focus on supplying strategically located, critical raw materials to key partners in the region."
The expansions will take place at antioxidant plants in Orangeburg, S.C.; Newport, Tenn.; and Morgantown, W.Va. The new capacity is expected to come online in the second half of 2022.
Officials added that the planned expansion will increase SI's security of supply by offering a fully integrated portfolio of phenolic antioxidants in the U.S. SI's antioxidants are broadly used in growth segments such as food packaging, automotive, construction and adhesives.
"This capacity expansion plan is a direct result of our focused efforts on growth and responding to our customers' needs," Chuck Reardon, vice president of plastics solutions, said in the release. "We are pleased to be in a position to invest in SI Group's capacity and support the success of our customers as well as bring new manufacturing and product capabilities and manufacturing jobs to our local communities."
In an email to Plastics News, an SI spokesman said that at each facility, the firm plans to use existing infrastructure while expanding with new equipment, machinery and capabilities as part of the investment.
He added that expansions of polyolefin capacity in the region played a role in SI's decision to add antioxidant capacity. Definitive job creation numbers from the SI expansions are unavailable at this point, the spokesman said.
In addition to antioxidants, SI sells light stabilizers, impact modifiers and similar products into plastics markets. The firm also makes a variety of specialty chemicals for other markets, including rubber and adhesives, fuels and lubricants, oilfield and pharmaceutical.
In May, SI began making liquid phosphite antioxidants at a new plant in Danyang, China. That material can improve performance in polyethylene and elastomers, officials said at the time.
SI employs more than 3,000 at more than 30 manufacturing sites. The firm has annual sales of around $2 billion. SI parent firm SK Capital also owns plastic materials firms Ascend Performance Materials, Geon Performance Solutions and Techmer PM.