Solvay (Alpharetta, GA) has announced that it is building a new PEEK (polyether etherketone) production unit at its specialty polymers site in Augusta, GA. The unit is expected to come on stream in mid-2016. Combined with the expansion already underway at the company's site in Panoli, India, the initiative will raise its total global PEEK neat resin production capacity to more than 2,500 metric tons.
Solvay says that it will invest more than $85 million in the two expansions, a down payment on its long-term commitment to keep pace with growing demand for its KetaSpire PEEK and AvaSpire PAEK materials. These polymers play a role in lightweighting, reducing energy consumption and enhancing performance in healthcare, electronics, oil and gas, aeronautics and automotive applications.
"This major expansion drive will make Solvay the only player in the industry to produce PEEK at two different sites in two different, growing regions," said Augusto Di Donfrancesco, President of Solvay's Specialty Polymers Global Business Unit (GBU). "The new plant in the United States together with the one in India will provide unmatched security of neat resin supply. These investments reinforce our long-term commitment to our customers worldwide."
The new unit will be located alongside Solvay Specialty Polymers' existing resin and monomer production units in Augusta, and benefit from the site's proximity to the GBU's research and innovation center in Alpharetta.
The new PEEK unit will use the same processes and technologies as Solvay's well-proven and highly reliable Panoli plant, according to the company. Together, these units will produce resins that form the foundation for Solvay's KetaSpire and AvaSpire products.