Styrolution sees growth for PS in North America

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: April 4, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Suppliers, NPE 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 4, 7:10 a.m. ET) — Global polystyrene giant Styrolution Group GmbH (Booth 13500) is excited about prospects for the material in North America.

“North America is going to be a success story for polystyrene, after several years of being quite depressed,” chief executive officer Roberto Gualdoni said in an interview at NPE2012. “Consumer demand is up and polypropylene is more expensive. Both of those work in our favor.”

It’s still in the early going for Styrolution – formed in October as a joint venture of the styrenics units of BASF SE and Ineos Group – but Gualdoni said his Frankfurt-based firm is seeing low single-digit growth in North America and expects that to continue. “We’ve got good momentum and a tailwind here,” he said.

Elsewhere around the world, Gualdoni said that European PS “is staying where it is” partly because it lacks a price advantage vs. PP in that market. By comparison, in Asia, “everything is booming,” as increased standards of living spur high growth in China and India, which are growing faster than “older economies” such as Japan and Korea.

At NPE2012, Styrolution’s new products include a new high-impact PS grade with higher gloss for the food service market. The material can be blended with crystal PS or used as a stand-alone resin, account manager Bevan Basham said. It’s being aimed at food service cups and graphic arts printing applications.

Styrolution also has commercialized a new, higher heat-resistant grade of Terluran-brand ABS for auto interior and exterior applications. The grade already has received approvals at General Motors.

Also at NPE, Styrolution is spotlighting three PS grades with 25 percent post consumer recycled content. NextLife of Boca Raton, Fla., is supplying Styrolution with recycled content for the new materials.

Gualdoni is managing Styrolution’s ups and downs. Recent styrenics expansion moves in South Korea and India, as well as a technology investment in Germany, have been offset by a production shift that will result in the closing of a German PS and styrene monomer plant. It’s all part of the challenges of a company with $8.3 billion in annual sales that employs 3,400 at 17 sites worldwide.

“I think it’s working well,” Gualdoni said of Styrolution’s first six months. “And I think one of the facts that’s bringing things together so smoothly is that our business has been very challenged for several years, so our people have gone through the ups and downs.”

“They know what to do in almost every situation. They know how to handle volatility and they know that we need to invest in our assets.”


Comments

Styrolution sees growth for PS in North America

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: April 4, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

A. Schulman buys Australia's Compco, 10th acquisition in 4 years

September 2, 2014 11:13 am ET

Akron, Ohio-based A. Schulman Inc., a supplier of high-performance plastic compounds and resins, said it has acquired a company near Melbourne,...    More

Image

Battenfeld-Cincinnati secures major Chinese extruder deal

September 2, 2014 10:58 am ET

An undisclosed major Chinese pipe manufacturer has ordered 25 extruders from German-Austrian company Battenfeld-Cincinnati's subsidiary, Battenfeld-...    More

Image

EPA fines RI polymer company

August 29, 2014 1:20 pm ET

A Rhode Island polymer manufacturer has reached a $60,000 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating federal clean...    More

Image

Haitian's standardization efforts paying off

August 29, 2014 9:53 am ET

Streamlined design efforts and robust export sales helped propel Ningbo, China-based injection molding machine manufacturer Haitian International...    More

Image

Updating a travel icon for the professional millennial

August 29, 2014 11:44 am ET

As part of a drive to expand its customer base to include more millennials, Airstream Inc. turned to the Columbus College of Art & Design's MindMarket...    More

Market Reports

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

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

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

More Events