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LANXESS invests EUR 9 million to expand EVM production

Capacity increase to support continued growth in specialty rubber applications

Specialty chemicals company LANXESS is to expand annual production capacity at its Dormagen site for its ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer (EVM) line sold under the product brands Levapren and Levamelt by 30 percent to 15,000 metric tons. The new capacities are due to be available from the second half of 2012. 

“With this investment we are responding to rising demand in the wire and cable industry, which manufactures flame-retardant halogen-free sheathing out of Levapren,” says Jürgen Gunther, head of the Specialties business line in the Technical Rubber Products (TRP) business unit. Levapren’s high oil and heat resistance is also increasingly opening up applications for the product in automotive engineering. For example, it is used to make seals, hoses and belts. “We also expect Levapren to be used more and more in components of new polymer classes for automotive applications such as HIPEX, a new crosslinked thermoplastic elastomer (TPE-V) developed in cooperation with Kraiburg TPE, Waldkraiburg, Germany,” adds Gunther. 

LANXESS sees further growth potential for its EVM specialty elastomers stemming from the adhesives area. "There, Levamelt excels with its good processability and wide-ranging and precisely adjustable tackiness in the production of transparent, adhesive films,” says Dirk Schäfer, head of Strategic Marketing in the Specialties business line.

The Technical Rubber Products business unit is part of LANXESS’ Performance Polymers segment, which recorded sales of EUR 2,388 million in fiscal 2009.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 5.06 billion in 2009 and currently around 14,400 employees in 23 countries. The company is represented at 42 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.