Asahi Glass plans ETFE plant for UK

Asahi Glass is to build a new plant for ETFE melt processable fluoropolymer at its Thornton Clevelys site in Lancashire, to be built alongside the existing PTFE unit at the former ICI complex.

The £15m (E22m) plant represents the company’s biggest investment outside Japan since it bought ICI’s Fluon business in 1999.

Work on the new unit, which will boost the Japanese group’s capacity by 20%, will start in January next year ready for start up in January 2007.

Asahi Glass says that demand for ETFE, a copolymer of ethylene and tetrafluoroethylene, is growing worldwide at 5% a year due to new automotive and construction applications as well as from existing uses. ETFE film has been employed on the new Allianz-Arena football stadium in Munich.

Asahi Glass has two ETFE facilities in Japan at Chiba and Kashima, the latter the subject of an expansion completed last month.

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