Annual production capacity will be 6,000 tons. Construction is expected to begin as soon as official building permits are secured, and to be completed by the end of 2015.
While global demand for PPS compounds continues to grow at 6% to 8% annually, annual growth in demand in the PRC, which leads the world in automobile production, is estimated at well above 10%. Market expansion continues to encourage leading global automobile components manufacturers to set up operations in the PRC, while the need to reduce foreign exchange and logistics risks among others has spurred increased interest in local procurement of PPS compounds from such manufacturers. Building a PPS compounds plant in the PRC will thus position us to respond to the needs of customers – thereby facilitating DIC’s full-scale entry into the local PPS compounds market – and to expand our sales of these products.
The new PPS compounds plant in Zhangjiagang will also deploy a state-of-the-art production control system that enables integrated computerized control of production lines and monitoring processes, helping to improve the safety and precision of production activities, as well as to increase efficiency and yield rates. This system is already in use at DIC’s PPS compounds plant in Austria.
Additionally, in July 2014 DIC will open a new technical center in Shanghai, a move aimed at reinforcing its after-sales service configuration in the PRC. The center will provide broad-based customer support, including in such areas as the fabrication of metal molds and the molding of PPS compounds, helping DIC to build strong bonds of trust with customers and expand sales in the local market, as well as to create a solid and more globally focused operating foundation.
The construction of a new plant in Zhangjiagang will increase DIC’s annual global production capacity for PPS compounds to approximately 40,000 tons. Looking ahead, DIC expects its share of the PRC’s PPS compounds market, currently 20%, to eventually surpass 35%, further reinforcing our leading global market share.