ESSEN, Germany – Evonik Industries AG has announced plans to expand laurolactam production capacity significantly at its Marl site. The new capacity should be available in the second half of 2009. Plans for a further capacity expansion have already begun. Laurolactam is the starting material for the polymer polyamide 12, which is enjoying steadily growing demand in new markets.
“This investment project gives us what we need to further bolster our globally leading market position in polyamide 12,” said Dr. Klaus Engel, member of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries responsible for the Chemicals Business Area.
The High Performance Polymers Business Line markets polyamide 12 as an engineering material under the brand name VESTAMID® and as a powder under the name VESTOSINT®. Demand for both products has been rising steadily over the last few years.
In addition to polyamide 12, Evonik also produces polyamide 612 and polyamide 12 elastomer molding compounds (PEBA) under the VESTAMID brand name, as well as polyamides based on renewable raw materials. The product range includes the TROGAMID® transparent specialty polyamides and the VESTAMELT® copolyamide hot-melt adhesives. With its VESTAKEEP® polyetheretherketone, the business line has penetrated the segment of high-performance polymers that must satisfy extremely stringent mechanical, thermal and chemical requirements. Other polymers in this sector will follow.