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Solvay expands its US-based sulfone polymers business

Important step for future growth
Solvay expands its US-based sulfone polymers business

Solvay Marietta plant. Picture: Solvay
Solvay Marietta plant. Picture: Solvay

Solvay has ambitious expansion plans for its U.S.-based sulfone business, which focuses on polymer solutions for various critical life science applications, as part of its ongoing commitment to build capacity in this field to support a growing global customer base.

The full scope of the multi-year expansion plans will ultimately touch all of Solvay’s sulfone polymers including Udel polysulfones (PSU), Veradel polyether sulfones (PESU) and Radel polyphenyl sulfones (PPSU). The first major investment steps will include a capacity increase for Udel PSU of over 25% by 2024 at the company’s production site in Marietta, Ohio, with much of this increase expected online by early 2023. Likewise, to strengthen Solvay’s leading position in the market, production capacity for dichlorodiphenyl sulfone (DCDPS) — an important common building block used in all sulfone polymers — will also be expanded by more than 25% by 2024, resulting in capacity increases at the company’s Augusta, Georgia site by end of 2022.

“This new multi-year program marks an important step in our strategy for future growth and affirms our number one position in the U.S. sulfone polymers market,” says Carmelo Lo Faro, president of Solvay’s Materials segment. “Essentially, the expansions will address the growth potential of our sulfone products in high-performance life-saving and life-sustaining areas, such as healthcare, water purification and pharma processing.”

Key application market segments to benefit from these investments include hemodialysis, medical instruments and pharmaceuticals — in both development and production, and water purification, where Solvay expects strong double-digit growth in terms of global demand. Moreover, high-performance sulfone polymers also play a growing role in residential and commercial heating and plumbing systems.

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