LANXESS expands global production for high-tech plastics

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Specialty chemicals group LANXESS is strengthening its presence in the growing market of China.
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  • Production expanded in growing market of China
  • Approximately EUR 20 million invested in new plant in Changzhou
  • Production to start in spring 2019

From left: Aoshuang Xiao, Head of Corporate Communications APAC LANXESS; Ming Cheng Chien, CEO of LANXESS China; Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the Board of Management LANXESS; and Dr. Hubert Fink, Member of the Board of Management.

Specialty chemicals group LANXESS is strengthening its presence in the growing market of China: The Cologne-based company is building a new plant for high-performance plastics in Changzhou for around EUR 20 million. From Q2 2019, the compounding plant is to produce up to 25,000 tons of Durethan- and Pocan-branded high-tech plastics for the automotive sector and the electrical and electronics industry.

“China is the largest automotive market in the world and is setting the pace for electromobility. We want to support growth in this important region and are expanding our presence in the high-performance plastic segment,” Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the LANXESS Board of Management, said at a press conference in Shanghai. LANXESS already operates a plant for high-performance plastics in Wuxi, China.

According to studies, around one in four of the approximately 85 million cars sold around the world this year will be sold in China. This figure is expected be one in three by 2025. The electrical and electronics industry also offers a great deal of potential in China. LANXESS expects annual growth in China of around nine percent.

“At the same time, we are expanding our global network of compounding plants with the new production site and continuing to implement the strategic focusing of our portfolios on highly refined plastics in a consistent manner,” says Michael Zobel, Head of the High Performance Materials business unit at LANXESS.

Changzhou location to be strengthened

LANXESS is also investing to significantly strengthen its Changzhou location. At the Binjiang Chemical Park in Changzhou, the Group already has plants for leather chemicals and synthetic rubber, which currently employ around 350 people. The new plant for high-performance plastics will create 35 additional jobs.

Mr. Ming Cheng Chien, CEO of LANXESS China, said: "LANXESS pays close attention to the booming growth key industries such as the new energy auto industry in China. We place the new factory in Changzhou in response to the government's requirement of ‘chemical enterprises into the chemical industry park’. We will utilize and integrate the resources of our leather chemicals and rubber production sites in Changzhou to achieve cross-BU synergy, and thus provide high-quality, high value-added solutions and services for our new and old customers.”

Lightweight solutions for modern mobility

The automotive industry is the most important customer for LANXESS’ high-performance plastics. Innovative materials allow the construction of components to replace metal parts in motor vehicles and thus contribute to reducing weight, fuel consumption and emissions. LANXESS plastics are used, for example, in engine applications, door structures, pedals, front ends and cockpit cross members. Depending on the part, lightweight construction can make a weight-saving of up to 50 percent.

There are also many applications for LANXESS plastics in hybrid and electric vehicles, some of which are already successful in mass production. These include components for charging systems, carriers and cell holders for battery systems and sensors and housing parts for electric motors. The materials also have great potential in electromobility infrastructure, such as in housing, switches and terminal clips for charging stations. In autonomous driving, polyamides and polyesters are ideal for connectors for sensors, displays and control units, for example.

Global production network expanded

The business unit operates global production networks at the following locations: Dormagen (Research & Development); Krefeld-Uerdingen (PA 6 Polymerization, Compounding); Hamm-Uentrop (PBT Polymerization, Compounding); Brilon (Tepex Production and Development); Antwerp, Belgium (PA 6 Polymerization); Wuxi, China; Jhagadia, India (Compounding); Gastonia, USA (Compounding); and Porto Feliz, Brazil (Compounding).

Good for business, good for society

LANXESS China has held the “Clean Water for Better Life” University Students Research Competition for three consecutive years. In 2017, 18 projects submitted by 12 universities including Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Tongji University, and Wuhan University were selected and were followed by three-months of field water research. Tonight, 18 teams will gather to attend the award ceremony and witness the generation of winning teams.

At the same time, LANXESS and China WTO Tribune will jointly publish the first water white paper, “Clean Water for Better Life: Innovation and Water Sustainable Management”. It elaborates on water industry development and the reality in China from a collaborative, innovation perspective. 

In addition, LANXESS will hold a commitment ceremony of “Constructing Ecosystem of Clean Water Sustainable Development”. The aim is to connect government, industrial associations, professional and research institutions, supply chain partners and societies with an open attitude, to build a sustainable clean water ecosystem through cross-border collaboration and joint innovation.

About LANXESS

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.7 billion in 2016 and about 19,200 employees in 25 countries. The company is currently represented at 74 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals and plastics. Through ARLANXEO, the joint venture with Saudi Aramco, LANXESS is also a leading supplier of synthetic rubber. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and Europe) and FTSE4Good.

LANXESS China

On January 31, 2005, LANXESS AG was initially listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and its subsidiary LANXESS Chemical (China) Co., Ltd. officially began operations. Today, LANXESS has 17 subsidiaries including 3 joint ventures, 9 production sites as well as 9 R&D centers with about 1,900 employees in China. LANXESS works closely with its local partners to develop market-oriented solutions that meet local market needs.

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