This investment will enable the group to increase by 50% its polyamide 11 global production capacities. The project falls in line with Arkema’s strategy to speed up its development in advanced materials, one of the key pillars of its future growth.
Over the next five years, the Group plans to invest €300 million in building, in Asia, a world-scale plant dedicated to producing Rilsan PA11 bio-sourced polyamide from castor oil. The new plant, which will produce both the amino 11 monomer and its polymer, Rilsan PA11, should come on stream in late 2021. It will enable Arkema to increase by 50% its Rilsan PA11 (powder and granule) production capacity. The investment also includes a 50% increase in global production capacities for Pebax, in particular Pebax RNew of which amino 11 is a key component. Pebax RNew is a bio-sourced polyamide elastomer with unique properties such as energy return and flexibility, earmarked in particular for the sports and electronics markets.
With this upcoming plant, Arkema will have a second amino 11 monomer production site, complementing its site in Marseille, France.
According to Arkema, Rilsan PA11 is the only high performance 100% biosourced polyamide to qualify for the most exacting applications in particular in the electronics, 3D printing and automotive markets, where it serves as a metal substitute.
With this project, the specialty polyamides business, which already achieves 40% of its sales in Asia, will bolster its industrial, commercial and R&D presence in the region.
“This project represents a milestone in the development of our specialty polyamides over the next few years,” said Thierry Le Hénaff, Arkema chairman and CEO. “Today more than ever, we stand by our customers to offer them ultra high-tech bio-sourced product ranges.”
This project is consistent with the group’s strategy to significantly step up the development of its advanced materials, which should eventually account for more than 25% of sales, while continuing to further consolidate its presence in Asia.