China's Bluestar makes NPE debut

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: April 4, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Suppliers, NPE 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 4, 8 a.m. ET) — Material supplier China National Bluestar (Group) Co. Ltd., which is 20 percent-owned by U.S. investment firm Blackstone Group, might at this point be a more familiar name to American banks than to American plastic buyers.

But the company (Booth 23051) hopes its inaugural appearance at NPE will change that.

The firm, which is part of state-owned China National Chemical Corp., has been on a modernizing push. It has restructured separately-run engineering plastics factories into a new business unit in February, hired two non-Chinese executives with international petrochemicals backgrounds to run the operation and is in the midst of adding capacity.

Jos Braat, who joined Beijing-based Bluestar in mid-2011 as chief commercial officer of the new engineering plastics business unit, said in an interview at the company’s NPE booth that it was both its first NPE show and the first time exhibiting its new engineering plastics on its own, at any trade show.

“This is the first time we’ve presented these products together as one company,” Braat said. “For us, this is an important show because our reach in the North American market is less.”

Braat came to Bluestar from Pittsfield, Mass-based SABIC, where he was global product marketing leader for crystalline and styrenic products. Bluestar also hired former Celanese executive Lanny Duvall in 2011 to be chief executive officer of the engineering plastics business unit.

The engineering polymers unit right now has about 4 billion Chinese yuan (US $635 million) in revenue, with 1,700 employees at four production sites, where it makes a wide-range of materials, including compounded engineering plastics, acetal, polyphenylene ether, polybutylene terephthalate and bisphenol-A.

It opened a new a 35,000 metric ton specialty epoxy resin plant in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, earlier this year and is building a 60,000 metric ton 1,4-butanediol and tetrahydrofuran plant in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, the company said.

Braat said the firm is also considering other capacity expansions, including acetal, also known as POM, along with PBT and PPE.

At NPE the company was touting eco-friendly, flame retardant grades of glass-filled PBT, which are already being used by Foxconn International Holdings, the giant contract manufacturer that produces Apple iPads and other electronic products.

It also recently introduced a new additive for glass-filled PPE blends that it said has significant improvement on properties like tensile and flexural strength. Its glass-filled PPEs are sold into automotive, consumer product and fluid-handling applications.

Braat said the company has been focused on upgrading to become more efficient and competitive globally.

The investment by Blackstone, which bought 20 percent of Bluestar in 2007 for $600 million, has increased the pressure on Bluestar to become more efficient, but it’s a work in progress, he said.

“There are still a lot of things that need to be optimized,” Braat said. “ For the long-term viability it needs to be more internationalized.”

About 75 percent of the engineering business unit’s revenues come from China, but the company wants to focus more on exports, which are growing faster than domestic Chinese sales.

The company manufactures thermoplastic, thermosets and raw materials serving those industries globally, and says it is the only producer of PPE in China.


Comments

China's Bluestar makes NPE debut

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: April 4, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Hong Kong's TK eyes expansion, may buy Nypro Tool operation

September 19, 2014 2:49 pm ET

Hong Kong-based mold maker and plastics processor TK Group (Holdings) Ltd. said it's reached a tentative agreement to buy a tooling factory in...    More

Image

Foster building medical polymers plant

September 19, 2014 1:39 pm ET

Foster Delivery Science is investing $8 million in a new plant in Putnam, Conn., for production of medical polymer blends, as well as rods, film or...    More

Image

BP to restart damaged PTA unit in limited capacity by November

September 19, 2014 10:27 am ET

British Petroleum plc may restart its fire-damaged purified terephthalic acid (PTA) feedstock unit in South Carolina in late October or early...    More

Image

Bayer spinning off plastics business

September 18, 2014 8:49 am ET

Bayer AG will spin off its MaterialScience plastics group into a separate, publicly-traded company within the next 12 to 18 months.    More

Image

Investor group wants DuPont to split in two

September 18, 2014 7:37 pm ET

Investment firm Trian Fund Management LP is calling for plastics and chemicals giant DuPont Co. to split itself into two firms, one of which would inc...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events