Third plastic plant to boost production

The new PAEK plant at Victrex Thornton
The new PAEK plant at Victrex Thornton
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A Fylde coast plastics maker has completed a significant milestone in its expansion plans.

Thornton-based Victrex has commissioned the first production stream of its £90m third Polyaryletherketone (PAEK) manufacturing plant.

Our investment, not only in PAEK manufacturing, but in downstream capability, in know-how in technical excellence and research and development, helps to further differentiate our company

The company said the move will help focus on offering greater security of supply to customers.

Bosses say the capacity increase is also a further foundation to progress Victrex’s ambitious plans for future development over the coming years.

Recent investments have already increased Victrex’s production capacity by 70 per cent to more than 7,000 tonnes per year.

Alongside its PAEK resin capacity, the PAEK producer says it has also continued its investment in its hi-tech APTIV film, pipe, tape and now medical components, enabling the firm to differentiate from competitors by supplying complete solutions to customers rather than simply manufacturing materials.

Bosses say the company has focused on a smaller number of major projects including aerospace brackets, applications for mobile devices, orthopaedic knees and oil and gas pipes through its partnership with Magma.

And Victrex says it recently identified the overall market potential for the high-performing thermoplastic PAEK as being over 80,000 tonnes.

David Hummel, chief executive of the company, added: “We are continuing to move from being simply a materials manufacturer to a solutions provider.

“Our investment, not only in PAEK manufacturing, but in downstream capability, in know-how in technical excellence and research and development, helps to further differentiate our company.

“Already today we are able to fill gaps in the market by delivering semi-finished and finished components such as APTIV films or medical applications. With the third production facility we are in a position to offer sustained security of supply, which is, along with rigorous quality, critical to our customers.”

“More than 1,000 tonnes of steel, more than 2,250 cubic metres of concrete and almost 30,000 metres of piping were used in construction.”