Demand for polypropylene compounds from the European automotive industry is behind an increase in capacity for ExxonMobil’s Exxtral compounds at the Lillebonne plant in France.
Exxon is to increase capacity there by 45,000 tonnes by the end of this year as the latest stage in a series of worldwide capacity expansions for automotive PP compounds. Last year it added 40,000 tonnes of capacity at its Baton rouge compounding plant in the USA and in September entered an arrangement for Resin & Pigment Technologies of Singapore to make speciality compounds, including Exxtral, for automotive use.
The Lillebonne plant currently makes neat, filled and compounded PP such as the new Exxtral BMU141 that was recently specified for the instrument panel of the Citroën Berlingo and Peugeot Partner. Exxtral polyolefins were also specified for the door panel, and upper and lower trim of these vehicles.
ExxonMobil says that Exxtral polyolefins have been used primarily for interior and under-bonnet applications but are increasingly being specified for exterior applications, such as bumper fascias.