News Round-Up

Excerpt: Here are the news and Developments in the Plastics and Packaging Industry across the world

Haldia Petrochem to invest Rs 62,714 Crore in 12 mln tpa refinery complex In Andhra Pradesh**

Haldia Petrochemicals is planning to invest Rs 62,714 crore in setting up a 12 mln tpa refinery-cum-petrochemical complex near Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, as per ET Energy World. The project is expected to be set-up in A V Nagaram village, East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh. The refinery will be integrated with a downstream petrochemical complex with a 12 mln tpa petroleum refinery and 1.6 mln tpa of Ethylene equivalent petrochemical complex. “The proposed project has been conceptualized considering the integration with demand of PX and Naphtha within the group company and demand supply scenario of the downstream products,” HPL said. The product focus of the refinery will be production of petrochemical feedstock, different from a conventional refinery where main products produced are fuel-based. The company is looking at producing High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Mono-ethylene Glycol (MGE) and Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) among other petrochemical products. “The main product of the proposed refinery will be LPG, Naphtha, Paraxylene etc catering to the feedstock requirement of the petrochemical units and fuel generation from the refinery will be limited to the extent it can be sold in domestic market. However, depending on the volume, some amount of diesel may have to be exported considering low demand growth rate in domestic market,” HPL said. The proposed crude-to-chemical complex will produce refinery derivatives and petrochemicals for domestic sale and exports. It will also help in meeting the company's primary feedstock requirement of Naphtha as well as Paraxylene, the company said in an application seeking clearance from the environment ministry. The project is expected to be set-up in A V Nagaram village, East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh. The complex is likely to be commissioned in 60 months from zero date. It will employ 5,000 personnel during the construction phase and its peak manpower requirement would be in the range of 20,000 to 30,000 personnel. HPL manufactures commodity polymers like HDPE, linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), and polypropylene (PP) and other chemicals like benzene, butadiene among other polymers and chemicals. The company serves packaging, consumer durables, houseware, automobiles, furniture, container, and luggage manufacturers. HPL claims to be the third-largest player in the domestic polyolefins market after Reliance Industries and Indian Oil. India is a net importer of all petrochemical products, except Polypropylene. The demand for various petrochemical products is growing at a rate of 8-10 per cent with the bulk of the demand being met through imports.

L&T dispatches mega hydrocracker reactor to HPCL's Vizag refinery

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) said it has dispatched the country's heaviest hydrocracker, weighing 1,858 tonnes, ahead of schedule to HPCL for its Visakhapatnam refinery modernisation project. The reactor will sail directly to Visakhapatnam from Larsen & Toubro's fully integrated coastal manufacturing facility located at Hazira in Gujarat, the company said. L&T is also manufacturing several hydrocracker reactors, weighing more than 2,000 tonnes, which on completion will set international benchmark, the company said in a statement.

Lubrizol Engineered Polymers signs agreement with ICT for TPUs

Lubrizol Advanced Materials India Pvt. Ltd. has signed an agreement with the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai, a leading chemical technology research university, for the supply of technical services and new application development of Estane thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs). The agreement was signed by Ms. Ursula Thakkar, Managing Director, Lubrizol Advanced Materials, and Prof. G. D. Yadav, Vice Chancellor, ICT. The agreement sets the stage for a close collaboration that aims to develop new end-use applications in the Indian industrial sector. “We are very pleased to partner with ICT as part of our strategy to provide innovative solutions for our customers in India,” Ms. Thakkar said, while speaking on the occasion.

According to Dr. Jesus Santamaria, Regional business director for Engineered Polymers, EMEAI, Lubrizol Advanced Materials, India is one of the key regions contributing to global business growth. “We acknowledge the specificities of India as a market, different from other regions and, as such, deserving a differentiated support. Growing TPU applications in mobility, electronics and Industry 4.0 (digitalization and automation) are positioning India at the forefront of technology. This agreement is critical to this vision as it will complement our current global technical centres with a local support from one of the most globally recognised chemical technology institutions,” he said in an official statement released by the company. Lubrizol Engineered Polymers offers one of the broadest portfolios of engineered polymers available today including resins that are bio-based, recyclable, light stable, flame retardant, adhesive, chemically resistant, optically clear and fast cycling. The technology crosses many industries and applications, including surface protection, power and fluid systems, sports and recreation, wearable devices, electronics and automotive.

New thermoplastic elastomers production facility planned by Mitsubishi Chemicals at Gurgaon

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation has announced that it has completed its acquisition of the PVC compound business of Welset Plast Extrusions Pvt. Ltd. in India and plans to construct a new facility to manufacture thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) for automotive interior components and other products at MCPP India Pvt. Ltd. Production is scheduled to begin by the end of fiscal 2019. TPEs are materials that have the characteristics of both rubber and plastic. They are used in automobile interior components, pen grips, and other products.

Applications for MCC's performance polymer products continue to expand in India's automotive industry, and growth is expected to remain steady in the future. MCC currently outsources the manufacturing of TPEs in India. The acquisition of Welset Plast Extrusions' PVC compound business, and the construction of the new production facility, will allow MCC to upgrade its performance polymer supply system to meet increasing demand. MCC has proactively pursued mergers and acquisitions and investment in the performance polymers business, expanding globally in regions such as Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. Currently, its network includes 28 locations in 16 countries, and MCC positions MCPP India as its Asia-Pacific medical PVC compound manufacturing site. In addition, it will accelerate further global development by expanding the scale of manufacturing of its TPEs for automobiles. MCC acquired the PVC compound business from Arparn Plast Compound Pvt. Ltd. after a demerger from Welset Plast, and will now change its name to MCPP India Pvt. Ltd. after the acquisition was formally completed.

Biodegradable plastic to revolutionise packaging, says Ashok Chaturvedi of Uflex

Ashok Chaturvedi, CMD, Uflex, highlighted the role of flexible packaging in the growth of food processing industry globally during the two-day first global conference on plastic and packaging held on 7 and 8 March 2019 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. During the event, inaugurated by Suresh Prabhu, minister for commerce and industries, government of India, Chaturvedi was presented with the 'Father of Flexible Packaging' Award.

Addressing the gathering, Prabhu discussed the contribution of packaging industry. He said, “Packaging is the very first impression that a consumer gets about a product before seeing the content of the packet. It will play a key role in creating demand for other products as well.” Discussing the topic of waste plastic management, Chaturvedi said, “Waste plastic is not an issue as it is made out to be. It may be a waste for one product but it can be recycled and used to make another product. Multilayer packaging is one solution which can be recycled and then reused.” Uflex is working towards the addressing the issue of waste plastic that does not get collected and ends up in landfill and ocean. Elaborating on this, Chaturvedi said, “Biodegradable plastic is going to revolutionise the packaging industry. We are in the process of giving a solution to waste plastic. Manufacturers who are using multilayer packaging will be able to use an environment-friendly plastic which is eaten by bacteria in coming in contact with soil. The leftover will be converted into biomass and fertilisers, which will further improve the productivity of soil. This will result in cleaning up the city, drainage issues and ocean being polluted with plastic.” On the trends of global flexible packaging, Amit Ray, executive director, Uflex, said, “Packaging strikes the very first connect between the brand and consumer, which is correctly defined as the first moment of truth. Delivering a great customer experience is integral to packaging, whether it is a product on the shelf or delivered in a box. Since packaging influences customer perception, creating memorable packaging translates into making a lasting impression. A number of consumer product companies are creating personalised packaging.” At the event, Jeevaraaj Pillai, joint-president, packaging and new product development, Uflex, presented the company's solution to reduce plastic waste. “Flexible packaging industry has to move in a direction where multilayer packaging waste can either be collected and recycled; collected and converted into energy; or if it gets littered, then it is bio-degradable,” he said.

Evonik expands transparent polyamides capacities at German site

Evonik is expanding production of transparent polyamides of the Trogamid CX brand at the Marl Chemical Park (Germany) to meet rising global demand. Production expansion is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2020. The project will double the speciality chemicals company's capacity for its transparent, high-performance materials. The company will be expanding its Trogamid CX production in part through targeted debottlenecking efforts, and in part through comprehensive optimisation initiatives undertaken by production management. The plans for the project are complete and implementation has already begun, said Dr. Ralf Düssel, Head of the High Performance Polymers Business Line at Evonik. “We have been observing consistently high demand, especially in the consumer goods segment, for specialised material solutions that combine highest transparency, quality, and design freedom with the best processing characteristics,” said Dr. Iordanis Savvopoulos, Head of Evonik's Granules & Compounds Product Line. According to Evonik, Trogamid CX has been finding applications in the sports, leisure, automotive, and cosmetics industries, as well as in medical technology and in optical applications. As a lens material for sports and ski goggles, the polymer offers crystal-clear visibility, high UV protection and excellent mechanical strength along with resistance to chemical substances such as those contained in skin creams or hair spray. In the automotive area, Trogamid CX is well known as a decorative material for interior applications that stands out for its high transparency and scratch-resistance.

Kline report highlights growing demand for 'greener' rubber process oils

Global rubber consumption is expected to slow down in the next five to 10 years due to slower tyre demand. Since tyres are the major consumer of rubber and rubber process oil (RPO), the demand for RPO is expected to grow slower during this period. Furthermore, there is an emerging trend to use less RPO to produce lighter tyres. However, demand for other rubber goods (shoes, toys, tubes, hoses and belts, etc.), is expected to grow and drive growth in the RPO market, which is estimated at close to 3.3-mt globally in 2018, according to a new analysis by consulting firm, Kline. It expects the market to grow at a CAGR of around 1.8% during 2018-2028. In terms of product segments, aromatics comprising Distillate Aromatic Extract (DAE), Treated Distillate Aromatic Extract (TDAE), Residual Aromatic Extract (RAE), Treated Residual Aromatic Extract (TRAE) and Mild Extracted Solvate (MES) are the largest segments, accounting for about 52% of demand. Aromatics are followed by naphthenic and paraffinic RPOs. “Since 2013, aromatics have lost about 5% market share as tyre and other rubber goods manufacturers look for alternatives mainly due to a ban on DAE in the European Union,” Kline informed.

Going green

Other regions, such as Asia, are also moving to 'greener' oil with less polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH). TDAE is the best available alternative for DAE, but is expensive and dedicated to passenger car tyres. RAE, with poorer performance, is preferred in truck tyres and conveyor belts. Consequently, rubber goods manufacturers are increasingly adopting paraffinic and naphthenic RPOs. “Naphthenic RPOs are a good substitute for TDAE and RAE, as they offer solid performance and availability. Naphthenic suppliers have included a 5%-6% bio content to formulations to improve polarity,” the report noted.

Regional trends

The US and China are the largest RPO markets in the world, followed by India, Japan, South Korea, and Germany. The 15 countries account for more than 75% of global RPO demand. According to Kline, local suppliers dominate in most markets with exception of the EU market and some Asian countries. However, even here, local players have a significant presence. Hence, local dynamics affect the market to a large extent. Tyre companies also prefer local suppliers to ensure secured supply and prioritise RPOs available locally. “We see two emerging trends in the market,” commented Mr. Kunal Mahajan, the report's project manager. “The demand for bio RPOs is expected to rapidly grow, albeit from the small base, as tyre companies increasingly aim to meet their sustainability goals. Kline estimates the market for bio RPOs to grow at a CAGR of more than 5%, almost three times higher than the growth of global RPO demand. Secondly, the RPO market is slowly integrating into a global market,” he added. The RPO market is a regional market, with different product mix and dynamics in each region. For example, the US is primarily a naphthenic and paraffinic RPO market, while Asia and Europe are mainly aromatic markets. TDAE is the leading RPO in Europe, while DAE remained the leading RPO in Asia. This situation is expected to change, as some countries may issue regulations similar to the EU on DAE, favouring lower PAH oils. “This could reduce distortion in the market; how-ever, the impact will be limited as the two leading Asian markets for DAE – China and India – do not plan any regulations banning or restricting DAE. Moreover, with declining Group I basestocks demand, availability of aromatics RPOs may reduce driving demand for naphthenic and paraffinic RPOs,” Kline said.

Successful lab scale production of recycled styrene monomer by Ineos Styrolution

Leading styrene supplier, Ineos Styrolution, has announced a major breakthrough in chemical recycling of polystyrene. It said a lab-scale quantity of general purpose polystyrene was produced from 100% recycled styrene monomer at the company's Antwerp site in Belgium. Ineos said the material was the result of experimental polystyrene production runs with styrene monomer feedstock produced from depolymerisation of styrenic plastic. The tests – done in cooperation with commercial partners and universities – resulted in the production of virgin material with the same product properties as polystyrene produced from new styrene monomers. “We are very excited having achieved this breakthrough. The experiments can be seen as the practical proof of the recyclability of polystyrene,” commented Mr. Michiel Verswyvel, Global R&D Expert, Ineos Styrolution. “Due to its relatively clean decomposition into its building blocks, polystyrene is almost designed to be recycled. Within our global project team we are working to make this a stable process on a commercial level, by learning for example more about purity requirements of the feedstock material,” he added. Mr. Rob Buntinx, President EMEA, noted that the latest success was a significant milestone in proving that polystyrene is recyclable and would contribute to reducing post-consumer waste. “We are now looking forward to scaling the process to an industrial level and saving valuable resources,” he said.

INEOS Styrolution to build new production site for StyLight thermoplastic composite

INEOS Styrolution plans to set up a new production site for its StyLight thermoplastic composite product line. While INEOS Styrolution prioritizes a location in Germany, a specific location for the new production site is yet to be announced. The new site is planned to be operational in 2022. INEOS Styrolution says early development partnerships with the research institutes NMF (Neue Materialien Fürth GmbH) and NMB (Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH) were key to optimizing the product properties and processing. Further partnerships with the companies Roctool (Le Bourget du Lac, France) and, more recently, with ARRK Shapers' (La Séguinière, France) has led to the full validation of StyLight according to the automotive interior specification of leading car manufacturers. StyLight is said to offer a combination of structural stiffness, aesthetics, processability, dimensional stability and good surface quality. The portfolio has recently been expanded to include polypropylene- (PP) based StyLight. “Since the introduction of StyLight, we have dedicated significant resources on optimizing material quality and product processing parameters,” says Pierre Juan, VP Future Business and Innovation. “Having followed the development of StyLight from the very beginning, I am excited to see customers' response and I am looking forward to this next step.” “The decision to build a production site for StyLight is part of a larger investment program at INEOS Styrolution,” adds Kevin McQuade, CEO at INEOS Styrolution. “Recent activities such as the acquisition of polystyrene assets in China, construction of a new 100,000 tonnes ASA plant in Bayport, Texas, [U.S.], and the development of a new 50,000 tonnes ABS production line in Wingles, France, demonstrate our continued commitment as the leading global styrenics supplier.”

Global petrochemicals market to cross US$1203 bln by 2026

The global petrochemicals market is anticipated to reach over US$1203.2 bln by 2026, as per Polaris Market Research & Consulting. In 2017, the ethylene segment dominated the global market, in terms of revenue. Asia-Pacific is expected to be the leading contributor to the global market revenue during the forecast period. A significant growth in industries such as healthcare, automobile, construction, food and beverages, along with government initiatives and funding is expected to support the growth of this market. Other driving factors include abundance of raw materials in Middle East and favorable regulatory policies in Asia-Pacific. However, increasing environmental concerns, growing demand for bio-based chemicals, and price volatility of crude oil and natural gas are expected to restrict the growth of the market. Increasing demand from developing nations, and technological advancements are expected provide numerous growth opportunities to the market players during the forecast period. Asia-Pacific generated the highest revenue in the market in 2017, and is expected to lead the global market throughout the forecast period. The high economic growth in the region, growth in automotive and construction industries, and rising standards of living are expected to drive the market growth. Increasing disposable incomes in developing countries of this region, increasing applications of petrochemicals, and competitive manufacturing costs are further expected to support market growth. Rapid urbanization, and rising shale gas explorations in the region are expected to further provide growth opportunities during the forecast period.

FOAM2FOAM project to develop raw materials from PU Waste

AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, is participating in FOAM2FOAM, the objective of which is to obtain raw materials from polyurethane waste that until now ended up in landfills or were mechanically recycled to obtain low value-added products. Polyurethane is a material that has many forms, including flexible and rigid, as well as others that stand out for their lightness. It is precisely for that reason that it has a large number of applications, from foamed products for Automotive and Transport and Furniture to packaging, insulations for Construction, applications for Electronics and in sneaker soles. The fact that it does not have a simple logistic due to its different origins and because it is usually mixed with other materials makes that it ended up in landfills in most cases and its recycling used to be mechanically performed, thus obtaining a low value-added material. The objective of the FOAM2FOAM project, within the framework of the I+D Retos Calaboración national call and funded by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, is to apply chemical recycling to waste decomposing the material by using heat, chemicals or catalyzers in a process called catalytic glycolysis, which makes possible to obtain new raw materials called green polyols. This way, we avoid using raw materials from non-renewable sources to manufacture new products. The objective of the project is to scale up the process and analyze its efficiency. For that purpose, a consortium led by Titan Recycling Solutions has been created, in which Arcesso Dynamics, AMB Electrónica de Brescia and the technology centers Gaiker and AIMPLAS also participate.

CHINAPLAS 2019 to focus on sustainable medical plastics with innovative technologies

Benefiting from economic growth, population expansion and an intensifying aging phenomenon, coupled with everyone's increasing concern about health issues, the global demand for medical devices is increasing sharply. In North America, it is expected the spending on healthcare will register a growth of 5.9% from 2017 to 2025. In Europe, rising demand for both dental and physical body implants is expected to have a positive impact on the medical plastics industry. In the Middle East and Africa, meanwhile, demand for medical components such as disposable gloves, syringes, and catheters will drive the market.

In China, the industry also expects to see substantial growth. This can be attributed to increasing private and public healthcare expenditures, and an increasing geriatric population, among other factors. In addition, at the beginning of 2019 three commercial giants –– Baidu, Tencent, and Huawei –– announced their entry into the medical device market. Experts project huge demand for Chinese medical devices as well as for high-end medical equipment.

Upstreaming and Down-streaming Medical Companies

In response to the trend, CHINAPLAS 2019, with focus on “Smart Manufacturing, Innovative Materials, Green & Circular Solutions”, is turning a spotlight on medical plastics sector. CHINAPLAS will provide an opportunity for upstream and downstream of medical companies to network and learn about best practices, leading to a “safe, high precision manufacturing, portable” medical industry.

High-precision medical device products also place demanding requirements on the raw materials needed to make them. Device makers are seeking safer and more environmentally friendly materials, to include finding ways to use biocompatible and even biodegradable resins.

Lotte Chemical, for example, has recently developed its latest compound –– Transparent Impact-Resistance Polypropylene, or TIPP, using a new polymerization process technology. It offers a combination of transparency and impact resistance equal to that of a conventional random copolymer polypropylene, as well as whitening resistance than general impact polypropylene. TIPP, which will debut at CHINAPLAS 2019, is suitable for transparent applications or for mixing with a masterbatch to produce high-gloss products, such as clear containers by injection molding or blow molding, transparent films, medical syringes and medical infusion bags, infusion bottles, etc.

In addition, Lotte Chemical also will be promoting its safe and clean high-performance health and wellness solutions at the show. These materials can be developed into a wide range of medical products suitable for contact with the human body. While retaining excellent chemical resistance and impact strength, the products also meet strict international medical specifications.

Needle-free access valves represent a new trend in infusion medical devices. The joint valve is an elastic joint made of silicone, which needs to fit snugly against the plastic parts of the outer wall and be able to withstand repeated needle insertions and removals during use. Therefore, self-lubrication is vital. Momentive Performance Material Inc. is going to introduce their medical-grade, self-lubricating liquid silicone rubber at CHINAPLAS 2019, which will enable needleless connector manufacturers to meet their required performance requirements. The high-end performance resins PEEK (Polyetheretherketone) and PPSU (Polyphenylsulfone) play an irreplaceable role in the medical field. This is due to their excellent corrosion resistance, high purity, great strength, X-ray transparency, light weight, endurance of repetitive high-temperature steam disinfection, and high biocompatibility. Junhua ChinaPEEK extends the application of PEEK and PPSU materials in medical devices to areas including automatic surgical robots, external fixation brackets, intramedullary nail surgery sights, skull surgery sights, PEEK dental instruments, surgical aids, joint surgical instruments and medical testing equipment, 3D printing, surgical beds and other medical accessories, and provide comprehensive technical solutions for the development and production of orthopaedic medical special plastics.

Smart Manufacturing Has a Role to Play

Medical device manufacturing is a multi-disciplinary, knowledge-based, capital-intensive, high-tech industry. It integrates different state-of-the-art technologies, combining traditional industries with biomedical engineering, information technology, and modern medical imaging technologies, resulting in high entrance barriers. The ability to meet such requirements provides one benchmark for determining the level of manufacturing sophistication and high-tech development a country has attained. Riding on the wave of “Made in China 2025”, China's ability to manufacture precision and mechatronics equipment has been strengthened, propelling the energetic development of the medical device industry. Stringent requirements for equipment precision and environmental cleanliness are imposed on medical device manufacturers. The JE Series precision automatic injection molding machine by Powerjet Plastic Machinery Co., Ltd. is characterized by its fast speed, stability, energy saving, cleanliness, and precision. It has no hydraulic oil leakage and is a better choice for the production requirements of clean workshop environment for medical equipment and disposables packaging, in addition to satisfying needs related to unmanned, automated and intelligent production. The medical puncture needle mold is an example of a precision injection mold, and since the resulting product made from it comes into contact with the human body, the product inspection requirements are very strict. JT Mold Technology Co., Ltd. will introduce Asia's first Hot-Runner Side Gate mold during CHINAPLAS 2019. This mold set is made of German 2083 steel, which ensures minimal thermal deformation and excellent discharge performance. It employs the firm's new 48-hole, full Hot-Runner Side Gate System technology, and can match the product core with the cavity.

Considerable Demand for Home Medical Equipment

With the rise in popularity of interventional therapy techniques, the demand for precision medical tubing is increasing. As an industry leader in polymer processing, Davis-Standard understands the extrusion demands of the global medical tube market, to include strict tolerances, high speeds, cleanroom-specific equipment, and good process support. Davis-Standard can design a complete turnkey extrusion system according to a customer's strict product requirements. Its Connecticut laboratory in the United States supports the development of new medical tubing applications such as microcavity tubes, multi-lumen tubes, and taper tubing, as well as the ability to process tubing with alternative polymers. Living standards have been improving while people also are becoming more aware of health issues, leading to a considerable demand for home medical equipment. Many tests and treatments can be done at home, rendering some hospital visits unnecessary. As a result, miniaturized, portable medical devices are in growing demand. Additionally, devices that are more compact and flexible are also desired for use in minimally invasive surgeries and precision medical treatments. At the same time, welding process requirements are getting more stringent, especially for small, thin-wall medical products that require a high degree of assembly precision. Branson Ultrasonics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.'s GSX platform provides advanced control and precise positioning of the mechatronic control system with pressure stepping and better process control, enabling higher energy-transfer capacity, high-quality welding, lower scrap rates, and increased production.

Medical Plastics Connect During CHINAPLAS 2019

During CHINAPLAS 2019, the show organizer is offering “Medical Plastics Connect”, a prominent event that consists of multiple components –– “Medical Plastics Forum”, “Medical Plastics Pop-up Kiosk”, “Medical Plastics Guidebook” and “Medical Plastics Guided Tour”. The event has been structured to empower manufacturers of medical devices, disposables and pharmaceutical packaging with the most advanced solutions and hottest technologies. This prominent concurrent event will assemble renowned suppliers from around the world, along with industry associations and leading medical device manufacturers to create an effective and efficient communication platform. CHINAPLAS, now on a par with K Show in Germany, is returning to Guangzhou this year and will be held in Guangzhou, PR China, from May 21-24, 2019. An estimated total of over 3,500 exhibitors from all over the world, including BASF, Dupont, USI Corporation, Wanhua, Momentive, Milliken, LG, TSRC, Mitsubishi Chemical, Kraiburg TPE, Haitian, Yizumi, KraussMaffei, Arburg, Engel, Fu Chun Shin, Akei, Mehow, etc. CHINAPLAS 2019 is going to be an extravaganza! It is expected that the show will attract more than 180,000 professional visitors from 150 countries and regions to visit CHINAPLAS! Many well-known enterprises in the industry have already signed up for the show.

SABIC features thermoplastic and polymer technologies at Feiplastic 2019

SABIC is featuring a range of thermoplastic and polymer technologies from its portfolio to support customers in Latin America as they respond to changing demands in their industries.

The company's state-of-the-art booth reflects SABIC's market-focused and customer-dedicated approach and showcase solutions for automotive, building & construction (including pipe & utilities), consumer goods, electrical & electronics, health and personal care, and packaging.

“We are constantly looking ahead and over the horizon to understand the challenges, forces and megatrends impacting our customers,” said Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, Executive Vice President for SABIC's Petrochemicals business. “This makes it possible for us to better understand their needs. We are also better equipped to effectively collaborate across the value chain and develop the differentiated solutions our customers need to meet emerging requirements and seize new opportunities.”

Strengthening Positon to Serve Customers in Latin America

Al-Fageeh also spoke to SABIC's ongoing efforts to strengthen its position in Latin America as a long-term dependable solutions provider, noting: “We are serving an ever-expanding base of customers in this region and are committed to nurturing and building these relationships and delivering with dependability for the long term.” Since Feiplastic 2017, SABIC has invested in infrastructure to help improve lead times and service efficiency for customers. This includes building new silos at its manufacturing facility in Campinas to improve supply performance. In addition, SABIC launched a new distribution center and logistical hub in Diadema, São Paulo, which has helped the company address growing demand for its polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) materials. SABIC and its joint venture partner, Exxon Mobil, has also advanced its Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project, which proposes building an ethane steam cracker that would feed a monoethylene glycol unit and two PE units. The project is still in the permitting phase. Improved access to SABIC's PE and PP materials is timely, with the company anticipating future growth with customers in Latin America, especially in segments like automotive, packaging and pipe & utilities. Indeed, plastics demand is expected to grow as populations and middle-class incomes in the region rise over the coming decade. Feiplastic 2019 marks the first time for SABIC to highlight its dedicated caps and closures industry segment with material solutions that may be used in optimized, lighter caps, closures, pumps and dispensing systems that are easy to process, helping with improved functionality, security of content, and cost effectiveness. SABIC is also featuring for the first time of its material technologies for nonwovens for lighter personal hygiene applications that are more efficient, comfortable and sustainable. These solutions include Phthalate-free SABIC PP polymers for nonwovens, which can help support challenges our customers face such as compliance with regulations, increased functionality and cost efficiency. For building & construction customers, SABIC is presenting STADECK heavy-duty panels. Made from glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic resin, the panels are lightweight, strong and durable. When compared to wooden planks, the panels can be a more sustainable option due to their potential for recyclability and potential weight savings, which can be up to 60 percent. For automotive customers, SABIC is highlighting its new portfolio of SABIC polypropylene (PP) compounds that deliver a soft feel combined with excellent scratch performance in unpainted, low-gloss automotive interior components. The new compounds offer the luxurious haptics and finishes that today's consumers demand – even in lower-priced vehicles. SABIC is also demonstrating a wide range of applications across the entire vehicle that benefit from use of its engineering thermoplastic (ETP) and polyolefin materials – all of which can replace conventional materials like glass, metals and thermoset resin to support lightweighting and potential reduction in emissions. For electrical and electronics applications, SABIC is also highlighting a range of flame retardant (FR) thermoplastics, which can meet global FR regulations.

Making Sustainability Attainable

SABIC has a dedicated display in the booth to highlight its commitment to sustainability and to circular solutions. Featured is the company's recent groundbreaking production of certified circular polymers, manufactured using a feedstock from mixed plastic waste otherwise destined for incineration or landfill. These PE and PP materials can help SABIC's customers address consumer demand for more sustainable products and contribute to closing the loop on plastic waste. “SABIC is the industry leader in the scale-up high quality recycling processes for chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste to the original polymer,” said Al-Fageeh. “We understand very well the pressures on society, the environment and our customers. For us, it is a must to do our part and help make sustainability attainable for the industries we serve and the regions in which we operate.”

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