KNAPSACK, Germany—Dutch chemicals company LyondellBasell Industries N.V. has started up the fifth polypropylene compounding line at its Knapsack production site, which it claims has become the world's largest PP compounding facility.
The recently inaugurated line, with a capacity of 25,000 metric ton per year, has raised total production capacity at the site to over 200,000 tons annually, LBI said in a statement Sept. 23.
Moreover, the number of employees at the site expanded from 160 to 172 as a result of the installation of the new line.
"Our polypropylene materials are helping to increase fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions by aiding in the light weighting of automobiles," said Frank Noeltgen, senior director of the advanced polymer solutions business in Europe.
Additionally, the trend toward electric vehicles, where components are needed for battery packs and under-the-hood applications, is expected to support the growing demand for the material, Noeltgen said.
LyondellBasell is a leading supplier of lightweight polymers and visually appealing materials for automotive and electrical applications to OEMs and Tier 1 customers.
The company's PP products are claimed to meet the requirements of the European Commission, helping automotive companies significantly reduce CO2 emissions in vehicles.
The products offer "a high-quality finish, scratch performance, and high ultraviolet resistance," according to LBI. Audi's new Q5 model, for instance, is using LBI's Hifax product series for a spoiler component in its front bumper.
The expansion of the Knapsack plant is the latest in a series of debottlenecking projects at LyondellBasell's PP compounding units in Europe.
LyondellBasell also has polypropylene compounding facilities in Milton Keynes and Warrington, England; Kerpen and Bayreuth, Germany; Tarragona, Spain; Dungguan, China; Senai, Malaysia; Sumare, Brazil; San Luis Potosi, Mexico; and Evansville, Ind.