German Chemicals company BASF SE is increasing its global production capacity for expandable polystyrene containing graphite, marketed under the label Neopor, by 40 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa).
In a 15 June statement, the company said it was carrying out “adjustments” at two production sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Ulsan, Korea, through the fourth quarter of 2018 to achieve the added capacity.
At the Ulsan site in Korea, BASF will switch the plant’s entire 85 ktpa capacity from the classic white EPS (expandable polystyrene) Styropor to the improved insulation raw material Neopor (grey EPS) before the end of the year.
This, said the Ludwigshafen-based chemicals giant, will allow the company to meet the growing demand for the grey material in the Asian market.
Additionally, the company has carried out a series of debottlenecking measures at the German plant, enabling the BASF to produce 200,000 ktpa of Neopor in Ludwigshafen.
The annual production capacity for Styropor and Neopor at the German plant has been increased from 440,000 to a total of 460,000 tonnes.
According to BASF, the grey EPS is used for insulation boards, contributing to energy saving in construction.
“Since introducing the product in 1998, BASF has continuously adapted Neopor´s production capacity. Compared with Styropor, the graphite containing insulation boards offer better insulation performance,” the BASF release noted.
Due to its lower density, Neopor materials can make lighter boards, making construction more efficient and saving material at the same time.
BASF, which invented and patented Styropor in early 1950s, launched Neopor 20 years ago as the first graphite containing EPS.
By adding graphite, according to BASF, the insulation performance of the boards is increased by up to 20%, while the use of raw material drops by up to 40% compared with the white material.