by Louise McHenry UTI staff
Phase one of chemical company Stepan’s expansion at its aromatic polyester polyol (APP) plant in Wesseling, Germany, to 90-95 kilotonnes-per-annum (ktpa) capacity from 52 ktpa started in mid May, according to Stepan’s vice president of European Polymers, Roger Stubbs.
A second phase, in 2012, will see Stepan debottleneck the plant (pictured right) to 120 ktpa, depending on market conditions such as rising costs of raw materials – and associated concerns within the insulation industry about polyurethane competitiveness – added Stubbs, in a 13 May interview in UTl’s London office,
To help it tackle possible fluctuations in the insulation market, Stepan has appointed two new executives in Europe, Stubbs said.
Former Cairn and Chemtura executive David Sedler has joined Stepan as business development director, to “squeeze the last drop out of all new applications and territories,” said Stubbs.
Carlos Ruiz-Pombo is the new commercial director, focusing on existing business and customers. “I’ll be taking some of the weight off Roger’s shoulders,” Ruiz-Pombo said.
Stepan Europe’s recent acquisition of Polish APP and systems supplier Alfa, with a plant in Brzeg Dolny, has broadened the company’s range, as it specialises in making APPs from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
Stubbs said Stepan has not yet made a firm decision on whether to grow and expand the Alfa systems business, or to sell it on.
Alfa has capacity for…