The polyester staple fiber (PSF) market is experiencing some changes, with the exit of one
established supplier and the announcement by another supplier that it will maximize its production
capacity to meet market needs.
Fort Mill, S.C.-based Wellman Inc. — manufacturer of PSF under the Fortrel® brand, as well as
Wellamid® engineering resins and PermaClear polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging resins —
announced last week it will exit the PSF and engineering resins businesses and consolidate its PET
resins business as part of its plan to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of this year. The moves
involve the shutdown of the company’s PSF and PET resin manufacturing operations at its plant in
Darlington, S.C., and engineering resins operations at its Johnsonville, S.C., plant; and the
consolidation of the PET resins business at its Pearl River facility in Bay St. Louis, Miss.
Wellman also will close its administrative offices in Fort Mill and move those operations to Pearl
River. Nearly 800 employees in South Carolina will be impacted by the closures. Assets from the
discontinued businesses will be liquidated.
Stepping in to fill the void, Charlotte-based DAK Americas LLC — a subsidiary of Mexico-based
conglomerate Alfa S.A.B. de C.V. and a manufacturer of PSF under the Dacron® Plus, Delcron®
HydroPur® and Hydrotec, and SteriPur®AM brands; as well as PET resins and terephthalic acid
monomers — has announced it will maximize PSF productivity in order to increase its own supply to
the North American market. The company’s North American manufacturing base includes facilities in
Charleston, S.C.; Wilmington, N.C.; and Mexico.
“We have additional capacity that we will be maximizing,” said Ricky Lane, corporate
communications manager, DAK Americas. “We will rebalance what we currently have running and look
for opportunities to increase that capacity.” He added that more details will become available as
assets are rebalanced and needs are assessed.
September 23, 2008