Evonik to build new plant in Asia, rushes to restart resin production in Germany

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 19, 2012

Amid the shortage of the nylon 12 materials used to make plastic auto parts, Evonik Industries AG announced that a resins plant will soon be built in Asia. Nylon 12 is used for fuel tanks, brake components and seat fabrics. However, this will be completed only after several years so this doesn’t resolve the current dilemma faced by automakers and suppliers.

Its executives are working hard to lessen the impact of a March 31 explosion at its resins plant in Marl, Germany, and to resume production right away. Gregor Hetzke, head of the company's performance polymers unit, said that there’s “quite a lot of damage" at the plant.

He said that it will likely take three to six months for the plant to reopen. The closure of this plant is expected to result to production interruptions for several automakers. Dahai Yu, a member of the executive board of Evonik, said that a location will be decided soon and that the plant is slated to open in 2014. Evonik reported a record-breaking 14.5 billion euros ($18.9 billion) in global sales for 2011.

About 3.1 billion euros ($4 billion) is from the company's plastics business while Asia accounted for 20% of its overall sales. Evonik hopes to expand in Asia, with a target of attaining 4 billion euros ($5.23 billion) in sales in the region by 2015, raising Asia's share to 30% of global sales. Yu seeks to double sales in Asia. Yu also said that a strategy project was concluded recently.

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