Belgium-based Solvay Group is building a nylon compounding unit in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, with initial annual capacity of 10,000 tons aimed at the automotive market, the company revealed in a press release.
This new facility is expected to become operational in July 2017 to serve the region’s and America’s growing automotive and consumer goods markets.
The plant in San Luis Potosí will be co-located with Chunil Engineering Co. Ltd., a South Korean Tier 1 supplier and a major Solvay customer. The unit will create 30 new jobs.
“This is being driven by the auto value chain moving to Mexico,” engineering plastics General Manager Peter Browning said. He added that the unit is a turnkey operation acquired from supplier Coperion.
"Mexico is the second largest producer of automobiles and commercial vehicles in the Americas and is ranked seventh worldwide with annual production exceeding 3.5 million units in 2015. In addition, many consumer goods and electrical equipment players are located close by, offering new opportunities for Solvay", says the statement.
“This new plant will help us to support our fast growing Technyl® polyamide business in North America, in addition to our current capabilities,” states Vincent Kamel, President of Solvay Performance Polyamides. “Many of the world’s top automotive OEMs are located in the region, which makes it an ideal base for us to serve both local and U.S. markets and contribute with our solutions to cleaner mobility.”
Solvay also intends to increase its sulfone polymer production capacity by 35 percent over the next five years at sites in Ohio and India. The need for new capacity is being driven by demand from medical and plumbing markets, where the materials are used for filtration.
Recently, Solvay has had success with high-heat grades of Technyl® polyamide compounding for under-hood engine parts such as air induction hoods, according to Browning. Grades that offer improved heat performance now are commercially available.
Solvay employs 30,000 worldwide and posted sales of US$ 13.5 billion in 2015.