In 2007 Arkema announced the construction of a Kynar PVDF fluorinated polymer production plant on its Changshu site in China, scheduled to come on stream in March 2011. Arkema has now decided to speed up the development of this plant, and announces a 50% production increase effective mid-2012.
This investment is intended to help meet the fast-growing demand for PVDF resins in emerging technologies, in particular applications in new energies and water filtration.
The initial plan for the PVDF production plant in Changshu aimed to meet growing demand in the industrial paint market in Asia. From the onset, the capacity of the site, which is fitted with the latest equipment, had been designed to accommodate the long-term growth of Asian customers.
The additional production capacity announced today will help meet requirements for PVDF resins from new emerging applications in Asia. Currently, applications using PVDF polymers are in fact enjoying strong growth in this region, e.g. polymer membranes for drinking water filtration, electrodes for lithium ion batteries, and protective films for the backsheet of photovoltaic panels.
«Asia is a key region for the ongoing rollout of our Kynar PVDF commercial expansion strategy. This capacity increase will rank the Changshu plant as a world-scale site, capable of offering a comprehensive offering of local service to our Asian customers in our various markets. It will help bolster our leading position in fluorinated polymers » stated Erwoan Pezron, Global Director of Arkema's PVDF business.
With the upcoming startup of the Changshu plant in March, and the scheduled additional capacity, Arkema will boast major PVDF production capabilities on the three continents of Europe, North America and Asia. Arkema already operates Kynar production sites in Pierre-Bénite, France, and Calvert City, United States.