AUGUSTA, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Solvay Specialty Polymers USA, LLC this week launched an expansion at its Augusta manufacturing facility to install the first world-scale polyether-etherketone (PEEK) resin production unit in the United States and meet growing demand for Solvay’s KetaSpire® and AvaSpire® ultra-polymers.
More than 100 people, including Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, state and local government, business and economic development leaders, applauded the planned expansion during Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremonies at the Clanton Road site.
PEEK is a high-temperature, high-strength, and high-purity plastic resin that Solvay uses as a key building block to make its KetaSpire® PEEK and AvaSpire® PAEK products. These two ultra-polymers are used in a broad range of performance-critical applications such as helping to make airplanes lighter and safer, improving the fuel efficiency of automotive drive trains, and enabling innovations in medical devices.
Roger Kearns, a member of the Solvay Group’s worldwide executive committee, voiced optimism about the company’s expansion in Augusta. “Solvay Specialty Polymers is one of the Group’s growth engines,” he said. “Expansion of our KetaSpire® and AvaSpire® production capabilities plays an important role in Solvay’s continued worldwide leadership in producing innovative high-performance materials that provide sustainable solutions.”
Kearns added, “This Augusta expansion is testimony to our researchers, to our plant workers and to the Georgia business environment which welcomes and encourages manufacturing and innovation.”
Solvay’s Augusta Plant Manager Alain De Greef echoed Kearns remarks. “Augusta’s workforce is proud of our record of safety, productivity and reliability of supply and we look forward to growing our service to customers and our contributions to Solvay,” he said.
Solvay’s local investment, valued at tens of millions of dollars, will create as many as 250 construction jobs and other permanent, production-related jobs. The detailed design and construction have been contracted to O’Neal Engineering of Greenville, SC. The first new structure is expected to rise in mid-summer with completion expected in mid-2016. Solvay currently employs about 200 workers and about 55 contract workers in Augusta.
As an international chemical group, Solvay assists industries in finding and implementing ever more responsible and value-creating solutions. Solvay generates 90% of its net sales in activities where it is among the world's top three players. It serves many markets, varying from energy and the environment to automotive and aerospace or electricity and electronics, with one goal: to raise the performance of its clients and improve society's quality of life. The group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about 26,000 people in 52 countries and generated 10.2 billion euros in net sales in 2014. Solvay SA SOLB.BE is listed on Euronext in Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR).