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Arkema to build a new bio-based polyamide 11 powders plant in China

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In parallel with its major project to increase the global capacity of bio-based polyamide 11 by 50% in Singapore, Arkema began work on the construction of a polyamide 11 powders plant on its Changshu platform in China, scheduled to come on stream in the first quarter of 2023.

This investment will further support the growing demand for advanced bio-circular materials in Asia. Rilsan polyamide 11 powders, currently produced in France entirely from renewable castor beans, are recognized worldwide for their superior properties and performance in terms of toughness, durability, lightweight and processing versatility.

Arkema to build a new bio-based polyamide 11 powders plant in China
Rilsan polyamide 11 powders are currently produced in France entirely from renewable castor beans.

They are used in very demanding applications and provide innovative solutions for fast-growing markets driven by megatrends such as durable home appliances, energy-efficient transport, and advanced additive manufacturing (3D printing) primarily for consumer, industrial, and aerospace markets.

Beyond the bio-based nature of the powder, this project will also contribute to Arkema’s ambitious sustainability commitments by using highly efficient manufacturing processes and by being physically closer to the new amino 11 plant in Singapore.

“We are very excited about this expansion”, said Erwoan Pezron, Senior Vice President, High-Performance Polymers. “There is strong and growing demand in Asia across all of our key powders markets and this added capacity will enable us to supply the region from within the region.” This expansion goes hand in hand with the Group’s major polyamide 11 plant currently under construction in Singapore, which is on track to start production in mid-2022.

Arkema confirmed in Aprile that it was on track to begin production of Amino 11 and its flagship Rilsan polyamide 11 high-performance polymers at the new plant on Jurong Island, Singapore in the first half of next year. This plant, for which production will be 100%-derived from renewable castor beans, represents a 50% increase in Arkema’s global polyamide 11 capacity.

As we reported back in 2017, this ambitious project has been undertaken by Arkema to deliver on its strong commitment to Specialty Materials and the bio-based polyamide 11 chain. When complete, this will represent the biggest integrated bio-factory in the world dedicated to high performance polymers. It represents a 50% increase in global polyamide 11 capacity for Arkema.

The total investment in the region, which also includes downstream polymer capacities in China, is approximately €450 million. To finance this new plant in Singapore, Arkema successfully placed its first-ever green bond in October 2020, for a total amount of €300 million.

After a first phase of in-depth studies and administrative procedures, Arkema’s technical teams have started work on the infrastructure and construction of this large-scale industrial complex on the Jurong site (Singapore). After overcoming the difficulties linked to the Covid-19, this project is fully on track and the Group confirmed its ambition to start up production in the first half of 2022.

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