Expansions: EMS invests in new facilities in Germany/Switzerland; Baerlocher expands in UK to support PVC market

EMS invests in new facilities in Germany/Switzerland

In order to be able to meet rapidly growing customer demand, Swiss materials supplier EMS Group says it will increase production capacity for polyamide specialties at its production sites in Groß-Umstadt (Germany) and Domat/Ems (Switzerland) over the next two years.

Less than two years ago, a new production line for the manufacture of high-performance polymers started operations at the Domat/Ems (CH) production site, following a construction period of only eight months. This was just the start of a large-scale investment plan.

Construction is already underway on another polymerisation plant for amorphous, partially aromatic polyamides, which is set to start operations at Domat/Ems (CH) in 2022. This state-of-the-art polymerisation plant will once again significantly increase the quality and production volume of the material, and substantially reduce energy consumption, thereby outperforming the competition. The plant will start operation in the second half of 2022 and should help to counteract the global shortage of polymers.

Construction is underway in Groß-Umstadt (DE), where the company's latest compounding line is being built in record time - start of operations will be in October 2021. The new production line will manufacture large quantities of high-performance plastic specialties such as Grivory GV and Grilon TS, thus significantly relieving the company’s German manufacturing operations as well as those of the Swiss parent plant at Domat/Ems (CH).

In the course of this investment another new production building will also be built, so that more production lines can be commissioned in the foreseeable future.

In addition, a further PPA production line (Grivory HT product family) will start operations at Domat/Ems (CH) in the last quarter of 2022 in order to satisfy the strong growth in global demand. Grivory HT has been successfully replacing metals for many years, making it possible to produce lighter-weight, non-corroding components with part-cost savings of up to 60%: This success story also makes new production facilities necessary.

In order to master the logistic challenges posed by the additional material volumes at Domat/Ems (CH), and to continue to be able to supply the global markets quickly and flexibly, a new high-rack warehouse is currently being built, which at 44.6 metres high will be the tallest in Switzerland to date. It will go into operation in the last quarter of 2021. The project is also part of the considerable expansion investment that will be made in the next five years at the Domat/Ems (CH) site alone. The total investment amount will be more than 300 million Swiss Francs.

Construction of a new high-rack warehouse in Groß-Umstadt (DE) is also currently in the works, ahead of the next stage to be realised with what will then be the fifth high-rack warehouse in Domat/Ems (CH).

Baerlocher expands in UK to support PVC market

Meanwhile, additives manufacturer Baerlocher is investing in its production plant in Bury, UK. The company will increase capacity of its calcium-based PVC stabiliser plant by more than 50% with installation of additional new mixing and granulation units in 2022.

This expansion will support the strong demand in all new and recycled PVC applications and reinforces the company’s commitment to the ‘post Brexit’ UK and Irish markets.

Andy Jones, the group’s Global PVC Additives Head stated: “For the past 25 years, the Bury site has established itself as the premier solid PVC stabiliser production plant in the UK. This expansion begins the next chapter for the company, as we approach our 50th anniversary in the UK during 2023, with an increasingly challenging regulatory framework and complexity in supply chains”.

“Our customers rely upon local security of supply, product consistency and speed of response from established and reliable sources” according to Andrew Tate, Head of PVC Additives EU/MEA, “The capacity increase delivers on this need, and will also support the anticipated new demand for solid Ca based systems, due to increasing regulatory pressure to convert from existing liquid stabilisers, in many PVC applications.”


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