Evonik begins building German polybutadiene plant, plans mid-2013 startup

Evonik Industries has laid the foundation stone for a large plant to produce functionalized polybutadienes in Marl, Germany, the company said on Wednesday.

The plant, with an annual capacity of several thousand metric tons, is scheduled for completion in the middle of 2013. More specific capacity figures were not disclosed.

The Germany-based specialty chemicals company said its investment is in the mid double-digit million range in Euros and will create 15 new jobs.

Functionalized polybutadienes, which Evonik plans to market under the name POLYVEST HT, are used mainly in sealing compounds for insulated glass windows and for adhesives used in the automotive and electronics industries.

“Today, we are laying the foundation stone for a business with outstanding prospects for the future - it is innovative and contributes towards the strong-growth megatrend of resource efficiency,” said Klaus Engel, chairman of the Evonik executive board.

“By choosing the production site in the heart of the Ruhr region, we are once again demonstrating that industrial production in Germany under competitive conditions is still possible."

The new plant can make optimum use of existing infrastructure and raw materials supply, the company said, as well as utilize synergies with the current polybutadiene plants in Marl Chemical Park.

“As one of the world's biggest specialty chemical companies, we back Germany as an industrial location and, with our long-term investments, we are securing our industrial basis here,” said Mr. Engel.

In the first half of 2012 alone, Evonik spent €208 million of its total €391 million of investments in fixed assets in Germany, according to the company.

In addition to new projects, Evonik also invests in optimizing, maintaining and expanding existing facilities, as well as in completely new products and in research and development, it said.

“There is great demand for products that help us use resources more efficiently,” said Ulrich Küsthardt, head of Evonik’s coatings and additives business.

“Especially in Germany and Europe, the market for functionalized polybutadienes is characterized by a high level of dynamic growth.”

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