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DuPont Expand Production of Kevlar

04 June 2004

DuPont have disclosed plans to expand production of its high-performance DuPont Kevlar para-aramid.

DuPont plans to invest over $70 million for the project and is beginning the equipment procurement process. The expansion will increase global Kevlar capacity by more than 10 percent.

The project is scheduled to come online in phases between late 2005 and the first half of 2006. The specific expansion locations will be finalized as required to meet the projected start-up dates.

This is the fourth expansion DuPont has made in Kevlar para-aramid capacity since 2000 due to the growing customer demand for this high-strength fibre that supports global safety and performance applications. In addition to the expansions, DuPont continues to increase capacity by optimizing the productivity of existing assets through the use of Six Sigma processes.

""Global demand for DuPont Kevlar has soared with the need for safety and security worldwide,"" said William J. Harvey, vice president and general manager – DuPont Advanced Fibre Systems. ""In addition, new applications are being developed that harness the lightweight strength of Kevlar fibre to enhance protection and performance. This capacity expansion is a critical step in growing the Kevlar business, maintaining DuPont leadership in the performance fibres market, and delivering the innovation customers expect from DuPont.""

Between 2000 and 2003, DuPont completed three Kevlar high-performance fibre expansion projects at its Richmond, Vancouver and Maydown, Northern Ireland, facilities. The 2003 expansion and this announced expansion both incorporate proprietary New Fiber Technology (NFT) developed and patented by DuPont.

DuPont claim their Kevlar product to “combine high strength with lightweight and comfort with protection”.