Japan’s Kaneka Corp. is increasing production capacity for polyethylene and polypropylene expanded particle foams in Europe, the Tokyo-based company announced 17 Jan.
The expansion at Kaneka’s plant in Westerlo, Belgium, will involve a €15m investment, and will add production capacity for the products marketed under the brand names Eperan and Eperan-PP.
The project includes the construction of additional “state-of-the-art facilities with optimal process controllability”.
Full operation of the new production facility is scheduled for early 2019.
The expansion in Europe, said Kaneka, is aligned with its earlier-announced investment in Thailand and the existing plant sites in Japan, China, and Malaysia, helping the company strengthen its global supply structure.
Kaneka announced in August last year that it will establish a new plant for production of expanded polyolefin foam in Rayong, Thailand.
The Thai plant, with production capacity of 3,000 tonnes a year, is expected to start operation in September 2018, serving the Southeast Asia and India region.
“Over the next few years, we expect that Eperan particle foams will continue to penetrate new markets and as such its demand will accelerate, both in Europe and in other parts of the world,” explained Pierre Van Ravestyn, executive officer EMEA & manager global business development of foam & residential techs solutions.
According to Kaneka, Eperan and Eperan-PP feature “excellent” shock absorption, structural strength, chemical resistance and formability.