Rickmansworth, UK -- Stepan Europe has announced price increases for its Stepanpol brand of aromatic polyester polyols (APPs) of Euro 100-150/tonne. These will take effect 1 Sept 2009, said a 23 July announcement from the company.
"This increase has been driven by higher raw material costs and in particular by the massive increase in the cost of DEG (diethylene glycol) which has jumped by well over 50 percent in the past four weeks and is forecast to increase further to 100 percent by the end of July," explained Roger Stubbs, director of European Polymers for Stepan, in the announcement.
"It's important we maintain our competitiveness in the current global market conditions and this is demonstrated by our commitment to go ahead with the expansion of our plant in Wesseling, near Cologne, in Germany, to more than double our annual European production capacity to 120 kilotonnes," Stubbs added.
Stubbs said that items with long lead-times have already been ordered, and Stepan aims for the first phase of the expansion to be completed early in 2011.
The Wesseling plant is already the largest of its type in Europe, Stepan says, "but we need to be ready for the economic revival and the anticipated rebound in European construction," commented Stubbs.
The Stepan executive also pointed out that, despite the current global economic situation, Stepan foresees "exciting market growth from the wider application of PU-based thermal insulation solutions," adding that this is particularly true for PIR (polyisocyanurate) rigid foam. PIR foam "already dominates the flex-faced lamination sector and is fast becoming the technology of choice for the rigid-faced panel segment too," Stubbs said.
PIC: Wesseling is already the largest APP plant in Europe before Stepan's planned doubling of capacity to 120 kilotonnes.