Teijin Aramid will restart the last spinning line for aramid fibers at its Emmen, The Netherlands plant. Demand for Teijin Aramid's super-strong Twaron fiber declined sharply in 2009 during the economic crisis.
The forecast for production of aramid in 2010 has been adjusted upwards. With the restart of the last spinning line, all spinning lines will be operational and production will be at full capacity. The schedule calls for this spinning line to be operational once more and stable in the last quarter of 2010.
A large number of spinning lines were shut down in 2009 in response to declining market demand. Demand for aramid now appears to be recovering faster than had been predicted in the first quarter of this year. Teijin Aramid is responding to this recovery by starting all production lines once more.
Restarting the production line will take a few months and is good news for employment at Teijin Aramid. With the start up of the spinning line some 30 additional employees will be hired. The next few months will focus primarily on recruiting and training mechanical operators who will make it possible to start up the line. In an earlier phase, some 10 processing operators had been appointed who, along with the mechanical operators, will make it possible to build up to full capacity operations once more.
Chemical industry recovering
At the end of May, the Association of Dutch Chemical Industry (VNCI) announced that the chemical industry in the Netherlands was showing strong recovery. Production rose by 21.7% in the first quarter of 2010 over the same period in 2009.
Increased costs and uncertainty
The high level of sales in the first quarter has drawn down inventories and these could become even tighter. Teijin Aramid has readjusted its forecasts for 2010 and 2011 upwards, but continues to see uncertainty in view of the general economic situation. Gert Frederiks, CEO & President of Teijin Aramid, points out that, "Thanks to the rapid recovery we have been able to rehire a number of the temporary personnel we were forced to let go in 2009. We want to operate our facilities at their optimum level and improve our position in the world market. At the same time we are realists and continue to keep a close watch on our cash flow and costs." Teijin Aramid's internal margins are being compressed under external pricing pressures but also to rising costs of energy and raw materials.