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

Audacious vandal stuns Taipei Plas

September 29, 2014 4:59 pm ET

Melodrama erupted at the traditionally tranquil Taipei Plas trade show on Sept. 28 when a mysterious intruder flung red paint at the Baumüller...    More

Image

Asahi Kasei breaks ground on Alabama compounding plant

September 29, 2014 5:39 pm ET

Asahi Kasei Plastics North America will be able to solve two problems at once with a new compounding plant in Athens, Ala.    More

Image

Shini pushes into western China

September 29, 2014 4:28 pm ET

Despite intellectual-property brigands, Taiwan's Shini Plastics Technologies Inc. is zestfully pursuing the enormous Chinese market for plastics...    More

Image

DuPont shifting Teflon production in China

September 29, 2014 2:35 pm ET

DuPont Co. will spend more than $15 million to improve its fluoropolymer product offerings in China.    More

Image

Sale of PVC maker Oltchim still in limbo

September 29, 2014 10:25 am ET

Fresh attempts to privatize insolvent Romanian PVC producer Oltchim SA have met with new obstacles as the European Union questioned the Romanian gover...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

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

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events