DuPont Advanced Fibers Systems (Richmond, Va., U.S.A.) will increase production of its DuPont Kevlar para-aramid fiber by more than 10 percent, to meet increasing customer demand. The $70 million (USD) expansion of production capacity, funded by parent company DuPont, is scheduled to come online between late 2005 and early 2006, at an as yet undisclosed location.
William Harvey, VP and general manager of Advanced Fiber Systems, says, "Global demand for DuPont Kevlar has soared with the need for safety and security worldwide. This capacity expansion is a critical step in growing the Kevlar business and maintaining DuPont leadership in the performance fibers market."
This is the fourth expansion in Kevlar fiber production since 2000. Capacity was expanded at each of the company's Kevlar production facilities, in Richmond, Vancouver (Canada) and Maydown (Northern Ireland). Equipment procurement is currently underway.
Meanwhile, Teijin Twaron BV (Arnhem, The Netherlands) announced expansion of Twaron fiber production to meet continuously growing market demand. Capacity will increase 5 to 10 percent, depending on product mix, at its plant in Emmen, The Netherlands. A specialty production line for Twaron para-aramid fiber also is in the works, scheduled to come online during the third quarter of 2005.
Gert Frederiks, Teijin Twaron's commercial director, says global demand for para-aramid is surpassing all the expectations that guided the company's previous expansion, completed in 2003. He expects 8 percent growth in the various business segments in which para-aramid product is sold, including ballistics and safety applications.
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