Lubrizol Makes $80 Million Expansion in TPU Capacity

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The Lubrizol Corporation has announced an update to its ambitious global expansion program supporting the company’s Engineered Polymers thermoplastics polyurethane (TPU) business and growing global demand for its Estane TPU, Pearlthane TPU, Pearlbond TPU and other product lines.

Lubrizol’s combined investment of nearly $80 million will add capacity in key plants in North America, Europe and Asia.

“Ongoing investments in Engineered Polymers are an integral part of Lubrizol’s global growth strategy and strengthen our position in every region of the world. We see a robust market poised for growth with a rebounding global economy, infrastructure and technology investments, and increasing demand for higher performing, more sustainable materials. We are well prepared to meet the needs of this dynamic market,” states Arnau Pano, Vice President and General Manager, Lubrizol Engineered Materials.

In North America, the company is adding new state-of-the-art production capabilities, expanded raw material storage, warehouse space and improved site logistics. With the latest investment, new capacity is expected to come onstream later this year.

In Songjiang, China, the company held a ribbon cutting ceremony earlier this month to inaugurate a new compounding line and new extrusion lines. 2018 marks the fourth major expansion in Songjiang since the plant first produced TPU in the early 2000s.

Recognizing the vast potential of the Chinese market, Lubrizol was the first foreign company to invest in local TPU production. Further investment is planned in Asia in 2019.

In Europe, the company is extending production capabilities for elastomers, aliphatics and adhesives. These expansions build on the acquisition of Merquinsa in 2011, and improvements to R&D laboratories in 2016. A next major European expansion is planned for 2019.

Jian-Wei Dong, General Manager, Lubrizol Engineered Polymers, adds, “Lubrizol has been recognized as a market leader since its invention of TPU for commercial use. These staged investments demonstrate our long-term commitment to innovation and growth and strengthen our ability to serve customers worldwide. The added capabilities ensure that we deliver world class quality and more sustainable manufacturing practices. Our resources are aligned to quickly identify and respond to market trends, fast-track innovation and applications development, and help our customers be more successful in the markets they serve.”

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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