Resin Makers Gear Up for Gains in Auto, Medical Sectors

Image: TotalEnergies TotalEnergies plant
Metal replacement in automotive and protective pharmaceutical packaging are among the key growth drivers.

TotalEnergies has started up a new reactor in Feluy, Belgium, for production of performance polypropylene (PP) materials. Through this investment, TotalEnergies aims to augment its position in the value-added polymers market. The company, therefore, is increasing its production of grades that meet the highest quality standards and technical requirements of specialty markets, including medical and automotive.

In the automotive sector, PP and other engineering resins are replacing metal to reduce overall vehicle weight and reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 10%. PP also plays a crucial role in the medical sector, particularly in drug packaging and by ensuring product protection.

Valérie Goff, Senior Vice President, Polymers, at TotalEnergies, stated: "The commissioning of this new reactor in Feluy will enable us to meet growing demand from our customers, including the automotive and medical specialty markets, for ever more efficient polymers that contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of end-use applications.”

Also in Europe, BASF plans to expand polyamide (PA) 66 capacity at Freiburg in Germany, with the new capacity slated to come on stream in 2022. In tandem with a new investment in hexamethylenediamine (HMD) feedstock, this will further expand the PA 66 business that BASF acquired from Solvay in 2020.

“With this new HMD plant in Chalampé and the polymerization expansion in Freiburg, BASF will ensure that customers can be reliably supplied with HMD and PA 66, while also addressing increasing demand in the market,” said Dr. Ramkumar Dhruva, President of BASF’s Monomers Division.

HMD is a precursor used in the production of high-performance PA 66 polymers and coating raw materials. Among other applications, these products are used in the automotive industry as well as in the production of specialty fibers.

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