DOW QUIMICA STARTING TO SUPPLY ELITE SAMPLES

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SµO PAULO, BRAZIL — The use of new-generation polyethylene resins produced through metallocene catalysts progresses in slow motion in the Mercosul region.

Dow Química SA, the Brazilian subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co., has just started to provide sample quantities of its Elite linear low density PE resins to two Brazilian processors.

``They are strategic processors, who are in position to take advantage of the material's good properties,'' said Luiz Stortini, PE sales manager at Dow Química.

Elite resins are manufactured using Dow's Insite catalyst technology.

However, the company is not putting much effort into promoting the Elite line locally, at least for now.

``The current needs of the Brazilian market are easily fulfilled by linear low density PE resins such as Dowlex,'' Stortini explained.

On the other hand, Pedro Emilio Suarez, commercial director for PE at Dow Química Latin America SA, said the new PE plant the company is building in Argentina will be equipped to make resins using Insite technology.

``If we are going to produce them there or not will depend on market response,'' said Suarez.

Located in Bahia Blanca, Brazil, this facility is scheduled to be launched by 2001 and have a capacity to produce 592 million pounds per year of LLDPE.

During the Brasilplast trade show, held March 17-22 in SÌo Paulo, the only company highlighting metallocene PE was Politeno Ind£stria e Comércio SA, an LDPE supplier in Camacari, Brazil.

At Brasilplast, Politeno Indústria gave customers short presentations regarding several current trends, among them, metallocene PEs.

``The company doesn't possess the technology to produce these materials, but we considered it important to introduce local processors to the possibilities of this new generation of resins,'' said Hélio Couto Viveiros, technical assistance, development and logistic manager at Politeno.