In a bid to capitalize on continuous growth in demand in the United States, Royal DSM NV plans to invest upto US$450 million to develop production at its Dyneema fibre business. The company has seen sales of Dyneema (ultra-strong lightweight PE fibre) increase by 15% in recent years.
Engineering studies have commenced for the planned investment program, which is expected to involve several phases of implementation over the next 2-3 years. The expansion is expected to result in a significant increase in DSM's US production capacity for the Life Protection market and will also include new breakthrough technology for ballistic and other applications. This will be the largest investment program since the start of large-scale production of Dyneema®.
This planned capital expenditure program is another step in a series of significant investments DSM has made in its Dyneema® business in recent years. In October 2007 a 25% increase in production capacity in the US Life Protection business was announced. More recently, in March 2008 DSM welcomed the start-up of its latest Dyneema® fiber production line in Greenville (North Carolina). The first additional line of this new multi-stage investment program is expected to be operational in 2009. The majority of the investments are likely to be in the United States.