DuPont Starts Up $500 Million Kevlar® Facility in South Carolina
DuPont announced Thursday the start-up of its $500 million Cooper River Kevlar® facility near Charleston, S.C. (U.S.), which is expected to result in an initial 25% increase of overall global production capacity for Kevlar®. Ultimately, a 40% increase is expected after continued technology developments over the next two years.
The plant uses state-of-the-art technology that will allow DuPont to meet increased customer demand for advanced protective materials in emerging industries around the world by expanding its portfolio of science-based innovations and boosting productivity. Commercial supply will begin by the end of the year.
“As the global population grows, there will be even more critical need for protection materials to keep people safe and to protect the environment, structures and critical processes,” said Thomas G. Powell, president, DuPont Protection Technologies. “This significant boost in production capacity and capability demonstrates DuPont’s continuing commitment to support our customers and to find solutions that help protect more people around the world.”
Along with a recent $50 million expansion at DuPont’s Spruance plant in Richmond, Va., Cooper River represents the largest single investment in Kevlar® and the largest capacity increase since the fiber was introduced in 1965. The Cooper River plant expansion created new jobs and was built over a period of three years using a construction workforce of up to 800.
The Cooper River Kevlar® plant will initially produce innovations that support three primary technology platforms: DuPont™ Kevlar® AP, DuPont™ Kevlar® KM2 Plus and DuPont™ Kevlar® XP™ for growing applications in ballistics, other personal protective equipment, aerospace, tires, fiber optic cables, oil and gas, and automotive.
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