The expansion will add 12,000 metric tons of annual capacity, which is planned to come on-stream in early 2009.
"This project marks another major step in Solutia's global investment program for Saflex," said Luc De Temmerman, senior vice president of Solutia Inc. and president of the Saflex business. "Despite significant increases in raw material costs, we are continuing to make the investments necessary to help our customers grow their businesses. This expansion, as well as the other previously announced expansions we are making throughout our global asset base, will help meet increasing demand for PVB, and is necessitated by the tight supply conditions in the PVB market."
Polyvinyl butyral (PVB) resin is the key raw material used in making PVB sheet, which Solutia markets under the Saflex brand name. The resin expansion will help feed the plant's Saflex PVB sheet manufacturing operations, which have increased their collective output by approximately 50 percent over the past few years. The Springfield plant was the industry pioneer in the development and production of plastic interlayers for laminated glass, which it began more than 80 years ago. Today it hosts Solutia's largest Saflex manufacturing site in North America, playing a critical role in serving Saflex customers around the world. The Springfield plant also is home to the Technical Center for Solutia's Saflex and Specialty Fluids businesses.
In addition to the PVB resin expansion project in Springfield, Saflex announced earlier this month that it will expand its PVB resin manufacturing facilities in Antwerp, Belgium, adding 15,000 metric tons of annual capacity that is planned to come on-stream in 2010. The additional resin capacity at Antwerp will feed the new Saflex PVB sheet extrusion line in Ghent, Belgium, which will start up later in 2008 and will create 40 million square meters of new capacity once it ramps up to full production.
In addition to the Springfield, Antwerp, and Ghent projects noted above, Solutia has recently constructed a new Saflex PVB sheet production facility in Suzhou, China, and added capability at its Saflex PVB sheet production facility in Santo Toribio, Mexico.
Saflex is known globally as the leader in PVB quality and reliability. When laminated between layers of glass, Saflex PVB interlayers greatly enhance the performance characteristics of glass, providing benefits such as safety, security, UV protection, and sound attenuation. For more information about Saflex visit: www.saflex.com
Forward Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, which can be identified by the use of words such as "believes," "expects," "may," "will," "intends," "plans," "planned", "estimates" or "anticipates," or other comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy, plans or intentions. These statements are based on management's current expectations and assumptions about the industries in which Solutia operates. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or achievements to be materially different from the future results or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those risk and uncertainties described in Solutia's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, including under "Cautionary Statement About Forward Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors", and Solutia's quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. These reports can be accessed through the "Investors" section of Solutia's website at www.solutia.com. Solutia disclaims any intent or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements in response to new information, unforeseen events, changed circumstances or any other occurrence.
About Solutia Inc.
Solutia is a market-leading performance materials and specialty chemicals company. The company focuses on providing solutions for a better life through a range of products, including: Saflex(r) interlayer for laminated glass; CPFilms(r) aftermarket window films sold under the LLumar(r) brand and others; high-performance nylon polymers and fibers sold under brands such as Vydyne(r) and Wear-Dated(r); and technical specialties including the Flexsys(r) family of chemicals for the rubber industry, Skydrol(r) aviation hydraulic fluid and Therminol(r) heat transfer fluid. Solutia's businesses are world leaders in each of their market segments. With its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, the company operates globally with approximately 6,000 employees in more than 60 locations. More information is available at www.Solutia.com.
CONTACT: Solutia Inc.