LyondellBasell recently announced its Knapsack, Germany site is now the world’s largest polypropylene compounding facility. The manufacturing site earned the new title with the startup of its fifth production line. The new total annual production capacity for the site is more than 200 kilotons (kt) per year, with the added line capacity of 25 kt per year.
This is the latest in a series of debottlenecking projects in LyondellBasell’s polypropylene compounding plants in Europe to support growing demand.
“Our polypropylene materials are helping to increase fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions by aiding in the light weighting of automobiles,” said Frank Noeltgen, Senior Director APS Business Europe. “The development of electric vehicles where components are needed for battery packs and under-the-hood applications is expected to support this trend.”
LyondellBasell remains a leader in supplying lightweight polymers to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier 1 customers, or visually appealing and durable materials for automotive and electrical appliance applications.
The new product is already getting the attention of OEMs due to its lightweight benefits that will help manufacturers meet the European Commission’s requirements by significantly reduce their CO2 emissions for future vehicle models. Products also provide a high-quality finish, scratch performance, and high ultraviolet resistance. For example, Audi’s new Q5 model uses LyondellBasell’s Hifax product series for a spoiler component in its front bumper.
The expansion of the Knapsack plant is the latest in a series of debottlenecking projects in LyondellBasell’s polypropylene compounding plants in Europe, which supports growing demand. The facility is an important addition to LyondellBasell’s Advanced Polymer Solutions (APS) global business including Milton Keynes and Warrington, UK; Kerpen and Bayreuth, Germany; Dungguan, China; San Luis Potosi, Mexico; Tarragona, Spain; Senai Malaysia; Sumare, Brazil; and Evansville, Indiana in the United States.
Approximately 160 LyondellBasell employees are working in Knapsack. With the expansion of the new production line, another 12 jobs were added.