Eastman Chemical Company announced a second expansion of its Benzoflex™ plasticizer line at the Kohtla-Järve, Estonia, site. The expansion will increase Benzoflex™ capacity at the site by an additional 11,000 metric tons and is expected to be completed by the end of Q2 2012. The company also announced plans for expansion of the Benzoflex™ plasticizers and Admex™ polymeric plasticizers lines at its Chestertown, MD and Kingsport, TN sites. The total capacity for the expansions in North America is approximately 9,000 metric tons and is also expected to be completed by the end of Q2 2012. A benzoic acid derivative, Benzoflex™ is used in coatings, adhesives, sealants and caulks, and is also used to provide flexibility to PVC in a wide variety of applications, including vinyl flooring.
“These expansions reflect the continuing growth in demand for alternatives to traditional phthalate products,” said Heidi Barnes, Oxo and Plasticizers business director. “The additional capacity will allow our Performance Chemicals and Intermediates segment to satisfy increasing customer demand for non-phthalate plasticizers.” Admex™ plasticizers are used to enable flexible vinyl compounds to compete with rubber and thermoplastic elastomers in a variety of applications, including PVC-based adhesive tapes, conveyor belts, gaskets and hoses. Benzoflex™ and Admex™ plasticizers are non-phthalates for manufacturers who are looking for sustainable alternatives to traditional phthalate plasticizers.