Geleen, Netherlands - DSM's Elastomer business is to convert one of its three EPDM production lines at Geleen to its ACE catalysis system. In a note accompanying the press release, Bob Hartmayer, president of DSM's Elastomers business unit has written, "DSM has decided to divest its Elastomers business. Not an easy choice, but one resulting from the DSM's vision to become more of a specialty company."
The investment of €10 million is scheduled to begin trial production in the last quarter of 2008. DSM said the upgrade will allow DSM Elastomers to produce materials containing high amounts of 2-vinyl-5-norbornene (VNB) as third monomer and thus provide excellent peroxide curing efficiency. ACE - for Advanced Catalyst Elastomers - is a technology DSM is using to make single-site EPDM materials. The technology was described as the next step beyond matallocene catalysis by DSM in a series of presentations last March. DSM Elastomers holds an exclusive worldwide license agreement with NOVA Chemicals for the use of ACE techologies.
Hartmayer continues, "DSM Elastomers will be divested to provide a platform for future growth in line with Keltan's ambitions and capabilities. Keltan has a tremendous global position, and over the last two years, Keltan has a record second to none." He adds, "DSM Elastomers will flourish better under a new umbrella "
Harmayer sought to reduce confusion in the markets, saying, "Planned investments on innovation projects like Keltan ACE will be going forward, thus solidifying our position as the innovative market leader." he added that DSM has already taken significant steps to implement its strategy and planned investments in Keltan ACE technology.
According to Herman Dikland, Business Manager for Keltan ACE, â€œThese high VNB products respond extremely well to peroxide cures, offering our customers the possibility to reduce the amount of expensive peroxide while maintaining material properties. Alternatively, compounds can be loaded to a much higher extent, while maintaining material properties. The products also offer new opportunities to meet stringent demands for peroxide cure applications which are difficult to meet with the EP(D)M products currently available on the market.â€
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Press release from DSM Elastomers