Ascend Performance Materials has made significant progress expanding our capabilities in China over the past year.
In January 2022, we announced the building of a greenfield hexamethylene diamine plant in Lianyungang. One year on and the plant is beginning to take shape with critical infrastructure installed, including foundations and tanks.
“We have begun to recruit the future operators and engineers of this world-class facility,” said Dr. Kevin Wu, Ascend’s senior vice president and managing director for Asia. “Later this year, they will have hands-on training at our HMD plant in Decatur, Alabama.”
We currently operate two world-scale HMD plants in the U.S. and the Lianyungang plant will have a similar capacity to those, effectively increasing our capacity by around 50%.
The Lianyungang plant is slated to begin operations in the first half of 2024 and supply the region and our polymer production with high-purity HMD.
We are committed to leading our industry in sustainability and have made improvements throughout our manufacturing processes to lower our carbon footprint, reduce waste and protect natural resources. In fact, we created our 2030 Vision, a set of nine sustainability targets that span across the three pillars of our sustainability strategy: Empowering People, Innovating Solutions and Operating Without Compromise.
Part of our 2030 Vision is a goal to reduce our absolute scope 1 emissions by 80%. In order to achieve this goal while still growing our production capacity, the Lianyungang facility was designed with state-of-the-art controls to build on that environmental performance.
But we are not simply focused on our HMD production. Every part of our operations is becoming or has become more sustainable. Last year alone, we commissioned state-of-the-art cogeneration units in Decatur, Alabama, effectively reducing the environmental impact of our adiponitrile production. Our acrylonitrile production in Alvin, Texas, is 30% powered by renewable energy, and new emissions abatement controls are being put in place at our adipic acid production in Pensacola, Florida.
Further upstream, our compounding operations, from Suzhou, China to Fosses, France, are carbon-neutral. And, we purchased a majority stake in Circular Polymers, a recycler of post-consumer carpet into high-performance polymers, which are helping lower our customers’ product carbon footprints as ReDefyne™.
“Our sustainability efforts are grounded in the belief that we have to continuously improve and those improvements have to be for the benefit of people across the globe,” said Chris Johnson, director of sustainability. “The new HMD plant in Lianyungang carries this belief forward and builds upon our sustainability progress.”
Engineered materials and innovation
A little west of Shanghai, we have expanded the capacity of our Suzhou engineered materials facility, adding two new compounding lines to meet growing regional demand for our products, including new grades of our Vydyne® and Starflam® product portfolios.
“We are supporting some of the highest growth applications in some of the fastest growing economies in the world in Southeast Asia,” said Dr. Wu. “Our unique products for e-mobility and connectivity are helping our customers bring their innovations to market faster.”
We also recently inaugurated the Ascend Asia Innovation Center co-located with our Suzhou plant. The AAIC will accelerate the development and testing of products and applications with state-of-the-art diagnostic and analytical equipment.
“The AAIC is geared toward quickly turning innovation into high-performance products for China and Asia,” said Dr. Wu. “In the short time it has existed, our customers have worked with us to bring over 60 of our class-leading flame-retardant Starflam grades to the region to help them meet high-voltage needs in e-mobility and electrification. This is just the beginning and we expect to develop new products for customers’ specific needs as new technologies evolve.”
At Ascend, our focus is on serving our customers as quickly as possible with high-quality, low-carbon-footprint products that help their innovations perform reliably. We continue to invest in growing our global footprint and developing new products.
To learn more about a specific product or our sustainability efforts, reach out to us using the contact form on this page.