24-Jul-2001 - DuPont

DuPont Announces Second Phase of Kevlar® Expansion Plans, Authorizes Design Using New Fiber Technology

DuPont today announced that it will expand its Kevlar® para-aramid fiber production facility in Richmond, Va. A new production line, based on proprietary DuPont fiber technology, will be added at the site, increasing production capacity for DuPont™ Kevlar® brand fiber by the end of 2002. Total investment for this expansion is expected to be $50 million.

"The Kevlar® high-performance fiber market is seeing incredible growth as demand from our core customers continues to increase and new product applications are developed," said Diane Gulyas, vice president and general manager - DuPont Advanced Fiber Systems. "DuPont is committed to the Kevlar® business as a key contributor to our sustainable growth mission, so we are taking every action we can to meet the evolving needs of our customers."

The company has successfully completed the first phase of expansion projects that began in early 2000 and increased production capacity for Kevlar® fiber globally by approximately 15 percent.

The second expansion phase, announced today, will address a nearly two-year trend of growing demand for high-performance, high-strength para-aramid fibers - demand that has exceeded global manufacturing capabilities.

This capacity expansion is based on innovative technology developed and patented by DuPont and used in the company's European operations for the past three years. As applied at Richmond, the technology will include design enhancements from the European operations that will provide unique process and product capabilities to support the continually growing needs of Kevlar® customers.

"Adding Kevlar® fiber capacity through enhanced technology is critical to maintaining our leadership position in the market for aramid products and technologies and reinforces our commitment to grow with our marketplace partners," Gulyas said.

Kevlar® is a global business serving a wide range of market applications delivering innovation, technology and solutions in environments where high-strength and lightweight performance are demanded. The business serves a global marketplace from offices in all major regions of the world and has manufacturing facilities in Northern Ireland, Japan and the United States.

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