By European Plastics News staff
Castellon, Spain -- Ube is aiming to become the largest producer of polycarbonate diol (PCD) in the world by expanding capacity in Spain by 3 kilotonnes (kt).
The Japan-based company is building a new production line at its Spanish subsidiary, Ube Chemical Europe, which is scheduled to come online in January 2012.
"The completion of the second production line in Spain will result in an annual production capacity of 2 kt and 6 kt respectively in Japan and Spain, effectively making Ube Industries the largest manufacturer of PCD in the world," the firm said in a statement.
Polycarbonate Diol is used to make PCD-based polyurethanes, which offer advantages such as excellent heat, hydrolysis, oil and weather resistance, compared to traditional polyurethanes, says the firm.
PCD is increasingly being used by automotive manufacturers in applications such as seats, dashboards and door interior panels, as well as for paints in second coat applications.
There is also growing demand for PCD as a raw material for water-based paints that use polyurethane dispersion (PUD) technology. These contain no solvents and fill a need amid increasingly stricter regulation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), says Ube.
Ube Chemical Europe is based in Castellon, Spain, and manufactures of caprolactam, ammonium sulphate, and fine chemicals. The company's capital stock totals Euro 34.3 million ($43 million).