European chemicals group Synthos SA. announced it is planning a major programme to boost its production capacity of its extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation board.
Already the largest XPS producer in Central Europe with output in both Poland and the Czech Republic, the company revealed it aims to double its current 400,000m3 capacity with an additional plant in each country.
Initially, Poland-based Synthos intends to build a new 220,000m3 unit at its main site at Oświęcim, in southern Poland. Preparatory work is already under way on the investment and to obtain construction planning consent, according to the firm.
Longer term, Synthos is considering a possible location for a further plant in the Czech Republic which, if confirmed, would eventually take the group’s overall XPS capacity to 800,000m3.
Synthos’s main motives for expanding material production now include excellent market prospects resulting from growing demand for XPS in Central Europe. Demand for the product there is rising faster than that for traditional foamed polystyrene.
Another important incentive for increasing XPS production now are its technology and market know-how and the firm’s competitive advantage resulting from its raw material integration, it said.
Along with the regular PS feedstock, Synthos intends to add recyclate from the management of styrene-packaging waste “which is in line with the circular-economy concept and assumptions of the EU Strategy for Plastics”, the group explained.
Synthos has not indicated when the first of its two new XPS units will start operating. Construction of the new Polish facility will, though intensify the firm’s sales effort and should boost its market share, especially in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany, it predicted.
Its ‘XPS Prime’ board is not only used in homes and commercial buildings but also for insulating car components, in road infrastructure and in for airport runways.
Based in the Polish town of Oświęcim, also known by its more recognisable German name of Auschwitz, Synthos’s existing Czech XPS plant is located at Kralupy nad Vltavou. The group is also a leading EPS producer, with other plants in Ribécourt and Wingles, France and Breda in the Netherlands.
Other Synthos products include polystyrene, synthetic rubbers, acrylate, vinyl and copolymer dispersions and adhesives.