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EVAL Europe expands Antwerp production capacity
The expansion will be completed by July 2001 and will result in increased production of 2,000 tonnes a year, bringing total annual capacity to 12,000 tonnes. The project represents an investment of some 3 million euro.
EVAL Europe, established in 1997, is a fully owned subsidiary of the Japanese firm Kuraray Co. Ltd. The plant began production in September 1999 with an annual capacity of 10,000 tonnes. In addition to production facilities, the Antwerp site also hosts sales, technical service and administrative offices in addition to the European EVAL® Technical Centre, which serves customers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
In addition to Antwerp, Kuraray supplies customers with EVAL® EVOH from plants in Pasadena, Texas, and Okayama, Japan. The Pasadena plant was expanded this year and the expansion of the Antwerp plant will bring the company's total manufacturing capacity to more than 45,000 tonnes annually.
The primary application for EVAL® EVOH is in food packaging, although a high-growth market for EVAL® resins is as a barrier layer in plastic automotive fuel tanks. The average annual growth in demand for EVAL® EVOH copolymer resins is expected to be 10% over the next decade. The company is currently conducting a feasibility study for further expansion in either the US or Europe.