NEW YORK--DuPont is planning a $44 million manufacturing facility for terathane polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG)--a key ingredient of Lycra spandex--at its site in Ulsan, Korea.
The plant, which is expected to come on-line in 1998, will have a capacity of 66 million pounds. It is part of a global expansion program for the product, aimed at increasing chemical operation efficiencies.
Besdies spandex, major market applications for PTMEG are high-performance polyurethanes.
The Ulsan plant will supply its customers for these applications, and DuPont's Lycra spandex and Hytrel co-polyester elastomer operations in the Asia Pacific region.
The output of the plant will displace imports of PTMEG to Korea and the most of the volume will be exported to customers in other countries in the region, said Dan James, managing director of DuPont Specialty Chemicals.
"The new plant will establish terathane manufacturing capability in all three major regions of the world," said James. In addition to Asia, DuPont manufactures PTMEG in Europe and the U.S.
"The Ulsan plant will give DuPont a very strong globally competitive cost position," added J.S. Kim, president of DuPont Korea, who will be in charge of the plant.
DuPont claims to have more than 50 percent of the global PTMEG capacity at the new plant, a 66-million-pounds-per-year plant at Niagara Falls, N.Y., and a 66-million-pound plant at Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
The Dordrecht plant will be expanded to 77 million pounds by the end of this year.
Last year, as reported, DuPont said it would build a PTMEG plant in LaPorte, Tex., a 44-million-pound facility that is expected to be in production in 1997. DuPont has increased the planned capacity of that plant to 66 million pounds per year.

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