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Global Spunmelt Capacity Set to Spike As Manufacturers Announce Ambitious Investment Plans

November 17, 2010

Avgol, FitesaFiberweb, Mitsui will add lines.

Five new spunmelt lines have been announced in recent weeks as manufacturers prepare to add tens of thousands of tons of capacity to the global nonwovens industry. Two of the lines are set for North America, one will be added in Peru and one will be added in Japan. The location of the fifth line has not yet been finalized.

Israel’s Avgol was the first producer to announce expansion the first week of November when it said it would invest up to $80 million for two new 4.2-meter Reicofil lines. While Avgol has said that one of the lines will be the fourth line to be installed in Mocksville, NC, the location of the other line is reportedly between China or Russia where the company already has successful operations.
Avgol will also add enough space in Mocksville for a fifth line to be added sometime in the future.

Last week, FitesaFiberweb, also one of the Americas’ major spunmelt manufacturers, officially announced that a second new line for its U.S. operation would come onstream in 2013. The announcement came literally days after the company completed work on its first line in Simpsonville, SC.
At the same time, FitesaFiberweb, which also has lines in Brazil and Mexico, will construct a spunmelt line at a new site in Lima, Peru. This investment will begin early next year and will be completed early the year after.

Calling the investments part of the company’s long-term vision of providing superior products and solutions to support its customers in important and fast-growing regions of the Americas, CEO Silverio Baranzano said, “Following the recent completion of the largest and most modern spunmelt line in the U.S. at FitesaFiberweb’s Simpsonville, SC site, these investments build on our current strong performance to further optimize our market-leading asset base and to enable an enhanced logistics and customer-service proposition in the region.”

Meanwhile, Japan’s largest spunmelt manufacturer Mitsui Chemicals said it would add a 15,000-ton-per-year line in Japan to better serve the growing disposable baby diaper market in Asia. This investment will bring the company’s total capacity to 79,000 tons when it comes onstream in April 2012.

In addition to these five lines, the spunmelt market was already poised to grow from lines under construction by PGI, FitesaFiberweb and Companhia Providencia in the U.S., Union Industries in Italy and Pegas in Eastern Europe. With the average output on a new spunmelt line anywhere from 15,000-30,000 tons or higher, these investments will significantly boost global capacity of the technology.

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