BASF has inaugurated two new manufacturing plants at its site in Freeport, Texas - a production line for polyamide 6 and a plant for superabsorbent polymers (SAP). The new facilities are fully integrated with BASF's Verbund structures at the site and further strengthen the company's U.S. manufacturing base.
The 120,000 metric tpa polyamide production line replaces a facility in Enka, North Carolina. Caprolactam feedstock for the plant is to be supplied by another BASF plant at the Freeport site. The new 180,000 tpa superabsorbent polymers (SAP) manufacturing facility is to be supplied with a key raw material, acrylic acid, from another BASF plant at the Freeport site. This will provide major competitive advantages in terms of logistics and product quality. The new SAP plant replaces existing facilities in Aberdeen, Mississippi and Portsmouth, Virginia.
Polyamide 6 is primarily used to produce polyamide polymers for engineering plastics that go into the automotive, electric and electronics, furniture and leisure industries. Polyamide 6 polymers are also used to produce fibers for carpets, textiles and industrial applications. Extruded polymers are manufactured for the packaging and cable industry, as well as for monofilament applications. BASF's superabsorbent polymers are capable of absorbing and retaining many times their weight in water and are best known for their use in disposable diapers. Specialized forms have also been developed for use in a wide range of applications, including packaging materials, cable wrappings, agricultural industry and firefighting.