Solvay advanced polymers completes major plant expansions

Solvay Advanced Polymers, L.L.C., has completed its previously announced expansions of its sulfone polymers plant in Marietta, Ohio, and its sulfone monomer plant in Augusta, Ga.

Start-up for both projects was completed during the fourth quarter of 2001 with capacity validation completed during the first quarter of 2002.George Corbin, Solvay Advanced Polymers' global business manager for the sulfone polymers business, said that the Marietta expansion increases the plant's production capacity for RADEL(R) R polyphenylsulfone and RADEL(R) A polyethersulfone resins by 40 percent, while the Augusta expansion increases the production capacity of 4,4' dichlorodiphenylsulfone monomer by 15 percent."In addition to these two plant expansions, the company is undertaking additional projects during 2002 to further increase our capacity to produce UDEL(R) polysulfone resins by 15 percent and sulfone monomer by an additional 10 percent," Corbin said.

"Despite today's difficult economic environment, these expansions testify to the significant commitment Solvay Advanced Polymers is making to support our customers' growth and successes, and it provides us greater opportunities to explore and develop new markets and product applications," he added.

Corbin also said, "Our recent integration into Solvay Advanced Polymers increased our global product development and marketing resource capabilities, and supported our strategy to aggressively grow our leadership position in the sulfone business."

"We continue to improve the quality of our existing products while expanding the breadth of our product offerings," said Doug Brademeyer, product manager for sulfone polymers. "Our new grade of optical-quality UDEL(R) polysulfone for fiber optics and the new line of ACUDEL(TM) polyphenylsulfone blends are two examples of how we are meeting our product strategy commitments," he said.

Sulfone polymers are high-performance, amorphous engineering thermoplastics. They are used in a variety of demanding applications that require high end-use temperatures, excellent chemical resistance, superior dimensional and hydrolytic stability, transparency and toughness. Industrial applications include aerospace, medical, business machines, plumbing, automotive, fiber optics, electrical/electronics, and food and beverage.

Solvay Advanced Polymers manufactures a comprehensive line of sulfone polymers at its Marietta, Ohio, facility. The portfolio includes RADEL(R) R polyphenylsulfone, RADEL(R) A polyethersulfone, UDEL(R) polysulfone, MINDEL(R) polysulfone blends and the recently introduced ACUDEL(TM) polyphenylsulfone blends.

Combined there are more than 200 different grades of sulfone products available to provide customers with solutions for their specific application requirements.

The plants in Marietta and Augusta were formerly part of BP Amoco's engineering polymers business that was transferred to Solvay, S.A. on Nov. 1, 2001.

Solvay S.A.'s acquisition of BP Amoco's polymers line of business, including the leading sulfone polymers and AMODEL(R) polyphthalamide businesses, increased its sales in the high-margin specialty polymers sector by 50 percent.

600450 Solvay advanced polymers completes major plant expansions

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