With the start-up of the fully refurbishment Furnace 2 in Kallo, Lanxess has completed its 15 million euro investment programme. Furnace 1 was successfully refurbished last year. Glass fibre is essential for reinforcing the high-performance plastics that are increasingly used in aerospace manufacture these days.
Also, lighter plastics are replacing metal parts in cars. Lighter cars mean lower fuel consumption and thus lower CO2 emissions. Furthermore, car manufacturers and their parts suppliers can make considerable savings since production is less expensive and assembly is easier. A new extension will boost the current capacity of 60,000 tonnes per year by a further 10%.
In the meantime Lanxess is additionally investing 75 million euros to build a new polyamide plant in Lillo. The work is going ahead on schedule and the plant should be operational by 2014 with an annual capacity of 90,000 tonnes. From Antwerp the plastics will be shipped to the various specialised Lanxess mixing units at various places around the world.
Lanxess also has three plants in the Antwerp port area where rubbers and precursors for plastics are produced. In the past few years the company has invested heavily in production of glass fibre and caprolactam, the two main feedstocks for its plastics. These and other investments have given a considerable boost to Antwerp’s position at the heart of the Lanxess high-tech plastics business.
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