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DSM High Performance Fibers will build a new Dyneema Uni-Directional (UD) facility in Greenville, NC (USA). DSM will create about 20 jobs for this phase of the U.S. project. The Dyneema UD facility will be located on the site of DSM Catalytica Pharmaceuticals, a DSM company that produces fine chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry. Dyneema UD utilizes the super strong Dyneema fiber to produce a lightweight material for personal ballistic protection, vehicle armoring, and many other specialized applications. The new production facility will have a capacity of approximately 600 tons per year depending on the product mix and will be in production during the last quarter of 2001.
The market demand for Dyneema fibers (used for ropes, nets etc.) and Dyneema UD (used for ballistic protection) is growing at a very fast pace. Fiber and Dyneema UD production capacity must be increased to meet this demand. DSM is currently increasing fiber production capacity at their site in Heerlen, the Netherlands, by de-bottlenecking the three existing production lines and by building a new fiber production facility. The total capacity at the Heerlen site will reach 2600 tons per year in 2002.
Expansion plans for the fifth plant have been accelerated as a result of the high demand for Dyneema products. DSM currently plans to build the fifth Dyneema fiber facility in the USA in 2002 through 2003. In this fifth Dyneema fiber plant approximately 100 employees are expected to be employed, depending on the manufacturing capacity. The second Dyneema UD facility, which is currently under construction in the USA, doubles the production capacity of this product for bullet resistant vests, military helmets, and lightweight armor panels in vehicles. Sales will be mainly aimed at markets in the USA, Canada and Latin America. Dyneema fiber facilities in the Netherlands will supply Dyneema fiber to the USA Dyneema UD facility until fiber produced in the USA is available.
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