Cleveland, Ohio - Lubrizol Corp. announced 29 April that it is doubling capacity for speciality thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) at its manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China.
At the Lubrizol Specialty Chemicals Manufacturing (Shanghai) Co. Ltd site at Song Jiang Industrial Zone near Shanghai, the group has "invested significantly," to add to the existing capacity for Estane TPUs, said a 29 April statement from Cleveland headquartered Lubrizol. More high-performance TPU is needed to meet the growing demand in the region, the company added.
Lubrizol did not give any figure for TPU capacity at the plant. The Shanghai unit was set up in 2005 and later debottlenecked to add 10-15 percent capacity. The group's other TPU plants are at Avon Lake, Ohio (recently expanded by 30 percent); Wilmington, Massachusetts; Oevel, Belgium; and Seremban, Malaysia (opened in 2007).
Generally, importing Estane TPU from Europe or the US demands two or three months advance planning, said Timothy Madden, business director of Lubrizol's Estane Engineered Polymers business in Asia Pacific. "By building the manufacturing facility closer to our customers, we are able to drastically reduce lead time and provide our customers faster turnaround time, thus increasing their success," he said, in Lubrizol's statement.
At Song Jiang, Lubrizol said, construction is well underway, and the expansion should be complete by the summer of 2008. Additional land has been reserved for future expansions.
Lubrizol claims that its Song Jiang facility is the "first multinational TPU manufacturing facility in China featuring state-of-the-art processing technology," allowing production of the highest quality at this location.