Tokyo, October 12, 2016 _ Ube Industries, Ltd. announced today that it will invest in additional nylon manufacturing capacity at its subsidiary, UCE (UBE Corporation Europe S.A.U.) in Castellon (Spain), in order to meet growing global demand for high added-value nylon. The expansion will add 40,000 tonnes to make the total capacity 70,000 tonnes per year. The new capacity is expected to start operation in the beginning of February 2018. The company is also building a new compounding facility in the same location which will start operation in August 2017.
Demand for nylon is growing in the market for the replacement of polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) films for use in packaging applications such as food, toiletries, and detergent, as interest in environmentally friendly products continues to rise. To meet such growing demand, UBE group last year expanded nylon 6 capacity by 10,000 tonnes per year in Castellon (Spain) and established the quick-response supply system for European, North and South American customers.
The new nylon plant, which utilizes UBE proprietary technology, can manufacture various types of medium and high viscosity nylons and copolymers for technical applications such as the automotive industry, food packaging, the manufacture of industrial monofilaments, fishing nets, and engineering components etc. The capacity expansion will improve UBE's global response to customer needs. UBE Group will further pursue value creation by the customers with the supports of UCE's R&D team which has a history of more than 10 years.
The announced capacity expansion will further reinforce the downstream integration of UCE in Castellon. The company will aim to grow continuously by expanding product applications and by increasing high added value products. This capacity addition will create 50 new jobs in UCE, making the number of employees reach 500. UCE's work force has increased by 25% over the last five years.
The UBE Group is one of the largest nylon producers in the world for engineering applications, manufacturing nylon 6 resin at three plants worldwide with a total annual production capacity of 158,000 tonnes. By region, the production capacity is 53,000 tonnes in Japan, 75,000 tonnes in Thailand, and 30,000 tonnes in Spain (70,000 after 2018). In particular, nylon manufactured by the UBE Group has an outstanding reputation for quality and processing stability for extrusion applications such as packaging films.