Wesseling, Germany-Stepan Europe is currently expanding its polyol plant in Wesseling, increasing the unit's nameplate capacity from 30 000 to 40 000 tonnes a year, according to Roger Stubbs, director of Stepan Europe's polymers business.
The project-a response to the "exciting growth of the Stepan aromaticpolyester polyol (APP) business,"-will be complete by the end of Q1 2007, said Stubbs.
The APP market is currently growing at around 12 percent a year, driven by two factors, according to the Stepan executive: "increasing demand for thicker building insulation and the transition from PU (polyurethane) to PIR (polyisocyanurate) technology."
According to Stubbs, Stepan has developed modified polyols which "work exceptionally well in the lamination market in combination with pentane blowing agent."
He pointed out that the compatibility of the blowing agent in the system is a critical factor for getting optimum processing, adding that "it is this area in which our products excel."