by Liz White, UTI editor
Perstorp’s long-awaited expansion in caprolactones at its Warrington, UK, site is coming on stream in the third quarter of this year.
The Swedish company expects the plant to start running towards the end of July, and to add regular commercial business in September, said Marten Olausson, manager of Perstorp’s caprolactones business unit.
“Lead times are very long and inventory levels low, so it will take some time to build up the stock,” said Olausson.
The extra capacity will be welcome news for caprolactone users: Olausson said the market has been tight since 2006 when Dow decided to close its US peroxymerics plant, and stop supplying caprolactones. “From that point the market has really been short,” Olausson added.
Dow’s exit left only three caprolactone suppliers: Solvay (the Capa business which is now Perstorp’s); Japanese group Daicel: and German giant BASF.
Perstorp bought the Warrington business in 2008, after French group Solvay decided it was not a core business Now the caprolactones unit has a home with someone prepared to invest and grow the business, Olausson said.
For Perstorp, with major business in coatings materials and in isocyanates for the PU sector. The Capa business is a very good fit.
After signing the deal, Perstorp rapidly announced its intention to double capacity, keen to send the right message to the market: “Dow, the biggest player, had closed its operation, and the no 1…