Kureha Corporation of Japan broke ground last week at the DuPont site in Belle, W. Va., for a specialty plastics plant. The company will produce polyglycolic acid (PGA) -- a high-performance polymer resin -- at the site. The DuPont plant makes glycolic acid, a raw material used in the manufacture of PGA.
PGA offers a gas barrier that is 100 times higher than that of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The use of PGA in soft drinks and beer containers can reduce the amount of PET in those containers by 20 percent while maintaining the equivalent barrier against carbon dioxide loss, Kureha said.
"We have had a strong relationship with Kureha since 2001, and this is a great way to celebrate Kureha's achievement in commercializing PGA. PGA has great promise as a biodegradable product that can extend the shelf life of packaged goods and reduce the amount of material used in consumer packaging," said Gary Spitzer, vice president and general manager - DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise.
"Kureha's new polymer will be made on a site that is not far from the original nylon plant," said Belle Plant Manager Bill Menke.
"The groundbreaking is evidence that West Virginia's polymer manufacturing industry is resilient, strong and will continue to grow as a vibrant economic cornerstone for our state," said West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin.
Posted April 15th,2008