Ferrara, Italy – Versalis is building a new plant in northern Italian province of Ferrara in a bid to improve its speciality elastomer offerings.
In a presentation to its clients this summer, the plant, known as GP27, will produce elastomers, ethylene - propylene copolymer rubber (EPR) and ethylene - propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM).
Both product families are sold under the trade name Dutral.
With the nominal capacity of 60 kilotonne per annum (ktpa), the facility will span an area of about 32,000 square metres and will employ slurry technology.
The unit is set to be handed over in late 2017 with production scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2018.
The plantwill be using the company’s advanced catalyst system to produce innovative grades offering improved performance.
The new products will join the rest of Versalis’ offering, completing the range of elastomers.
Versalis expects a 14% shift from EPDM commodities to EPDM specialities between 2015 and 2020.
The materialsare used in many applications, including under-the-bonnet automotive parts as well as construction and insulation.
The automotive market, with the largest proportion of EPDM applications (circa 30%), is expected to grow by around 4% between 2015 and 2020.
The company completed the first phase of redesigning its entire EPDM portfolio last year.
In its redesign, Versalis will be capable of producing high standard EPDM that will substitute most of its EPDM products.