MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema will be increasing its fluoropolymer capacity at its site in Changshu, China by 50% instead of 35%, said the company.
The decision to increase polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) capacity at the site is to cater to growing demand for lithium-ion batteries for semiconductors, water filtration and specialty coatings markets. This is not expected to change the expected start-up date, which is still scheduled for the end of 2022.
Arkema previously increased capacity of the Changsu site by 50% in November 2020, and this will be a further 50% increase on top of that. The French producer did not disclose the total capacity at the site, or the cost of the investment.
Arkema, a global leader in PVDF production, also recently announced a 50% PVDF capacity increase at its Pierre-Benite site in France, which is scheduled to come on stream in the first quarter of 2023.
As per MRC, Arkema declared force majeure on its sales of methyl acrylate (methyl-A) in Europe. Arkema does not produce methyl-A in Europe, but provides it to customers via a combination of imports from the US and swap deals with other local producers. However, imports from the US are currently restricted, and there are limitations on the amount of material available for swap deals because of feedstock issues, meaning Arkema is unable to fully meet its contractual obligations.
Arkema is one of the world's leading chemical manufacturers headquartered in Colombes (near Paris, France). Established in 2004 as a result of the restructuring of the French oil company Total, Arkema, with a turnover of EUR6.5 billion, has subsidiaries in 40 countries, 10 research centers around the world, and 85 plants in Europe, North America and Asia.