is reorganizing its business for high-performance polymers within the polyamide group.
The specialty chemicals company has already begun construction of a new polyamide 12 (PA 12) facility complex and is expanding its production of transparent polyamides at the Marl Chemical Park, and, in so doing, is concentrating its activities on high-performance materials for attractive growth markets such as the automotive, oil and gas, 3D printing, and optics industries. As part of the reorganization process, Evonik will withdraw entirely from the polyphthalamide (PPA) business at the Witten site.
“Reorganizing our polyamide business will concentrate our production and innovative strengths on specialty materials for promising applications in attractive markets such as lightweight construction, additive manufacturing, and composites. This, in turn, will give us a solid foundation for continuous growth,” said Dr. Ralf Düssel, the head of the High Performance Polymers Business Line at Evonik. “For our customers, the move will mean a more intense focus on developing sophisticated specialty solutions.”
Evonik’s roughly €400 million investment in Germany will increase the company’s overall capacity for PA 12 by more than 50 percent. The project will complement existing PA 12 production at the Marl Chemical Park in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with additional plants for the polymer and its precursors. The facility complex is scheduled to go on stream in the first half of 2021.
At the same time, Evonik will also be expanding production of transparent polyamides in Marl. Production expansion is slated for completion in the first quarter of 2020. The change will double the specialty chemicals company’s overall capacity for the high-performance material.
In another step in the process of reorganizing its polyamide business, Evonik will be discontinuing the production and sale of polyphthalamide at its Witten site by the end of the first quarter of 2020. Evonik will transfer employees from the PPA plant to its Marl site, where they will work at the new PA 12 production plant.
“As we focus our marketing activities on high-performance polymers, we will be utilizing internal synergies to accommodate our long-serving Witten employees with secure jobs at the new polyamide 12 production facility in Marl, where we will be able to draw upon their decades of proven experience in polymer production and compounding,” said Dr. Iordanis Savvopoulos, head of the Product Line Granules & Compounds at Evonik.
Evonik currently employs almost 300 people in Witten. The specialty chemicals company operates several production facilities for the production of organic substances on the approximately 16-hectare site which is one of the major production sites of raw materials for the paints, coatings and adhesives industry. In 2018, the group’s new production plant for specialty copolyesters at the Witten site went on stream.
Biobased polymers from the Terra series remain in the business portfolio and will continue to complement Evonik’s now reorganized range of high-performance polymers.