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Solvay increases its specialty polymers production capacity by 70% in India

News International-French

3 Oct 2012

Solvay announced a capacity increase of 70% at its Panoli plant, India, for the production of its high performance polymers KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and AvaSpire polyaryletherketones (PAEK).

Panoli is Solvay's largest plant worldwide for these two innovative ultra performance polymers that tower at the top of the plastics performance pyramid. Nearly half of this capacity increase has already been implemented and successfully brought on-line. The second phase of the project will be completed by mid 2013 and will allow the plant to continue to satisfy growth in demand.

The ultra-high performance of KetaSpire® polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and AvaSpire® polyaryletherketones (PAEK) along with their ease of processing provide substantial value for design engineers. The products are used in a diverse range of applications spanning many industries including aeronautic, automotive (e.g. mechanical components in cars), healthcare (medical equipment and reusable medical devices), electronics, oil & gas exploration and production, and process industries such as semiconductor manufacturing (chip testing and wafer processing).

“Solvay is delighted with the growth of its line of polyketone materials and we are very excited to be adding capacity for this business that we launched just a few years ago,” commented Augusto Di Donfrancesco, General Manager of the Global Business Unit Specialty Polymers. “Our focus from the start was to deliver products with consistently high quality and performance and we believe this has been a key driver in the rapid market acceptance of our KetaSpire® PEEK resins. With AvaSpire® PAEK, we are impressed with how innovative design engineers are capitalizing on the entirely new performance dimensions offered by these materials”, added Chris Wilson, Vice President for the Spire Ultra Polymers business.

With this investment, the Group reaches a new milestone in realizing its ambition to double its sales in India by 2015. Last week Solvay announced it is acquiring a controlling stake in Sunshield Chemicals, an Indian company specializing in surfactants, and some months ago it opened a major innovation centre in Savli (Gujarat State). The Group has been doing business in India since 2000 through its Novecare, Engineering Plastics and Specialty Polymers activities. With seven production sites and about 900 employees, the Group generated net sales of EUR 180 million in India in 2011.