Solutia Expands Belgian Plant

Solutia Inc. said Friday that it has begun the design and engineering of a new manufacturing line for its Saflex polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayers at its plant in Ghent, Belgium.

Saflex manufactures PVB interlayers products for laminated glass used by the automotive and architectural markets. Laminated glass is a glass-plastic-glass sandwich, and is standard in most windshields, the company said in a release. The firm said Tuesday that it had renamed its PVB unit Saflex.

The firm said in a release that once Solutia finishes the design and engineering phase, it plans to begin construction, targeting startup in the second half of 2008. This expansion will bring the total number of Saflex production lines at the Ghent plant to three. Solutia did not indicate a cost for the expansion project.

Luc De Temmerman, president of performance products for Solutia, said in a statement, "This project is a key part of our global growth strategy for the Saflex business, which also includes our recent acquisition of a plant in Puebla, Mexico, and the construction of our new plant in Suzhou, China."

The new Ghent manufacturing line is being designed to produce 3.2-meter-wide rolls of Saflex PVB interlayers. These specific interlayers are used primarily to make laminated glass for the growing European architectural market.

600450 Solutia Expands Belgian Plant

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