Web Date: July 9, 2012
Evonik Plans Nylon 12 Plant For Singapore
Evonik Industries has picked Singapore as the location of a new plant for nylon 12, a specialty polymer used to make automotive brake and fuel lines.
The plant in Singapore will have 20,000 metric tons of annual capacity and should be completed in 2014, Evonik says. The company currently makes nylon 12 in Marl, Germany. It first disclosed plans for a second plant in December 2011 when it announced a 5,000-metric-ton expansion of the Marl facility.
Evonik’s expansion plans were derailed on March 31 when two workers were killed at a plant in Marl that makes cyclododecatriene (CDT), a critical precursor for nylon 12. The plant is an important raw material supplier to both Evonik and Evonik’s main rival in nylon 12, Arkema.
As a result of the fire, Evonik and Arkema have had to ration sales of nylon 12. In April, automakers and their suppliers convened an emergency meeting near Detroit over a looming nylon 12 shortage (C&EN, April 23, page 6). There, Evonik and Arkema offered customers substitute materials such as nylon 10,10; nylon 10,12; nylon 6,10; and nylon 6,12.
Evonik says the CDT plant should be repaired in the fourth quarter, enabling nylon 12 supplies to return to normal soon thereafter.
Gregor Hetzke, head of Evonik’s performance materials unit, says the expansion will put the business on better footing for the long term. “Our goal in significantly expanding our capacity is to consolidate our leading position for polyamide 12,” he says.
Evonik has been investing heavily in Singapore. The company is building a $600 million methionine plant that is scheduled to start up in 2014.
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