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Business & Economics :: Latest News

April 18, 2008

DSM plans its largest investment for Dyneema

Gerald Ondrey

Royal DSM N.V. (Heerlen, Netherlands; www.dsm.com) has announced plans for a substantial capital expenditure program, expected to involve up to $450 million, to increase production capacity in its Dyneema business. DSM Dyneema’s sales have grown by more than 15%/yr in recent years and DSM expects the business group to accelerate its growth path.

Engineering studies have now commenced for the planned investment program, which is expected to involve several phases of implementation over the next two-to-three years. The expansion is expected to result in a significant increase in DSM’s U.S. production capacity for the Life Protection market and will also include new breakthrough technology for ballistic and other applications. This will be the largest investment program since the start of large-scale production of Dyneema.

This planned capital expenditure program is another step in a series of significant investments DSM has made in its Dyneema business in recent years. In October 2007 a 25% increase in production capacity in the U.S. Life Protection business was announced. More recently, in March 2008 DSM welcomed the start-up of its latest Dyneema fiber production line in Greenville, N.C.. The first additional line of this new multi-stage investment program is expected to be operational in 2009. The majority of the investments are likely to be in the U.S.

DSM Dyneema is the inventor and manufacturer of Dyneema, the world’s strongest fiber. Dyneema is an ultra strong polyethylene fiber that offers maximum strength combined with minimum weight. It is up to 15 times stronger than quality steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers, both on weight for weight basis. Dyneema floats on water and is extremely durable and resistant to moisture, ultraviolet light and chemicals.

Dyneema is an important component in ropes, cables and nets in the fishing, shipping and offshore industries. It is also used in safety gloves for the metalworking industry and in fine yarns for applications in sporting goods and the medical sector. In addition, Dyneema is used in bullet-resistant armor and clothing for police and military personnel. Dyneema is produced in Heerlen and in Greenville, N.C.

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