BASF is increasing its compounding capacities for the engineering plastics Ultramid (polyamide) and Ultradur (PBT: polybutylene terephthalate) at its Schwarzheide site by 10,000 metric tons per year. This is a first step within the scope of the capacity expansions that are planned in view of the sharp rise in demand in Europe. Already in the first quarter of 2011, BASF announced that it would be doubling its compounding capacities for engineering plastics in China and Korea.
"Engineering plastics in Europe came out of the economic crisis more quickly than we and our customers had expected back in early 2010. In comparison to the crisis year of 2009, demand rose by more than 30 percent in 2010. For 2011 as well, we are counting on double-digit growth. Consequently, the consumption will already have returned to the pre-crisis level in 2011," explains Willy Hoven-Nievelstein, head of the business unit Engineering Plastics Europe of BASF. "We are anticipating an average annual growth of more than five percent, which is why we are going to considerably expand our compounding capacities for engineering plastics in Europe in the coming years. This is how we can keep pace with the growth of our customers, as we have done in the past," Hoven-Nievelstein adds. The engineering plastics Ultramid and Ultradur are further processed into high-performance components in the automotive industry, in the electric & electronics sector as well as in the realms of construction and furniture-making. Such components include, for instance, car seat structures, oil pans, sensors and connectors, window profiles and chairs.