Kolon/BASF South Korean POM plant largest in the world; BASF shutting capacity in Germany

Kolon and BASF

Just days after having announced a partnership with Avantium for biobased feedstock, German chemicals company BASF has tied up with South Korean engineering plastics maker Kolon Plastics to establish a joint venture in Korea to manufacture polyoxymethylene (POM), an engineering plastic used in industrial, transportation, construction and consumer markets. The jv will also mean the start of the largest POM production capacity in Asia and the closure of BASF’s plant in Germany.

The 50:50 joint venture named Kolon BASF innoPOM, will have an annual capacity of 70,000 tonnes. It will be located at the existing manufacturing site of Kolon Plastics in Gimcheon, South Korea, which already includes a POM production. The start of operation is scheduled for the second half of 2018 creating in total the world’s largest complex for the production of POM.

Both companies have long-term experience in POM production and will use Kolon’s highly efficient production technology to provide best-in-class product quality.

“In the new joint venture the strengths of each company will be reinforced enhancing our overall competitiveness. Kolon Plastics’ globally leading technology and the efficiencies of the existing infrastructure will generate significant synergies. We are looking forward to this joint venture that may lead to further opportunities for cooperation,” said Hee Goo Jang, CEO of Kolon Plastics.

The products are to be marketed around the world separately by the two companies under their respective trade names and proprietary formulations. “Kolon and BASF have had an excellent business relationship for many years,” said Raimar Jahn, President of BASF’s Performance Materials division. “The markets for POM are growing around the world. Particularly in Asia the joint venture will strengthen our ability to support our customers with high-performing, innovative specialties.”

Following the start-up of the new plant in South Korea in the second half of 2018, BASF will discontinue production of POM in Ludwigshafen.

Polyoxymethylene resins are engineering plastics used in complex and highly durable components. Their high strength and resilience, friction performance and chemical resistance enable a broad range of applications used in automotive manufacturing as well as for electric and electronic goods, consumer goods, medical products and construction.

Kolon markets its POM product line under the trade name Kocetal. BASF offers POM products for a wide range of applications under the trade name Ultraform.

Traded on the South Korean stock market, Kolon Plastics is the only engineering plastics specialist company in South Korea that produces and sells engineering plastics. It has a sales network in over 90 countries around the globe including Japan, US and Europe.


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