China ramps up biodegradable PBS capacity

By Nina Ying Sun
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: April 12, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Materials, Suppliers, NPE 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 12, 3:30 p.m. ET) — China is ramping up production capacity for biodegradable polybutylene succinate and its copolymers. Leading producers at NPE2012 said they hope to export a larger share of their production to North America.

China New Materials Holdings Ltd. of Zibo claims to be the only company in China that integrates upstream and downstream production of PBS materials. The firm is looking to sell its PBS copolymers, including PBS co-adipate, PBS co-terephthalate and polybutylene adipate co-terephthalate — directly to U.S. processors. It has been selling through agents, said Wei Lu, executive director.

The company is launching 55 million pounds of PBS capacity, he said at NPE2012, held April 1-5 in Orlando. China New Materials also makes 1,4 butanediol, one of the building blocks for PBS, and it said vertical integration ensures quality and cost control.

PBS can be made from bio­sources and petroleum. But bio-based PBS is costly for the market, Lu said. He visited waste sorting and composting facilities in San Francisco in February, part of a business tour organized by the Beijing-based China Plastics Processing Industry Association.

“I’m convinced that there is tremendous market potential here in the U.S.,” he said.

Guangzhou-based Kingfa Science & Technology Co. Ltd. just launched 66 million pounds of PBSA capacity in Zhuhai, China, in August and is already planning a second-phase project, which will add 132 million pounds of capacity.

Kin Wong, Kingfa’s marketing director for biodegradable polymers, said about 90 percent of the PBSA exported goes to Europe and is used to make shopping bags, trash bags, toys and food-service products.

While the U.S. market is still underdeveloped, he said he’s optimistic. “Many local customers [from North and South America] stopped by our booth and asked about biodegradable materials,” he said.

Another leading supplier, Xinfu Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. of Hang­zhou, said some U.S. customers might believe petro-based bio­degradable materials are not as “green” as bio-based materials. U.S. sales are less than 220 million pounds, said sales manager Grace Jin.

The first-time NPE exhibitor is looking to establish direct sales. “We think this model [will sell], since the material is highly technical and value-added,” Jin said.

Xinfu has annual capacity of 28.7 million pounds of PBS; it exports about half of that to Europe.

Industry leader BASF SE of Ludwigshafen, Germany, has 163 million pounds of annual PBAT capacity, sources said.

While Chinese suppliers are eager to increase their exports to the U.S., they said they are seeing great opportunities inside China. The Chinese government is expected to issue new policies to support the growth of 100 percent biodegradable materials, and other sustainable materials, through government procurement, tax relief and value-added tax refunds.


Comments

China ramps up biodegradable PBS capacity

By Nina Ying Sun
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: April 12, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Report: Brands are falling short on packaging sustainability

January 29, 2015 5:19 pm ET

Packaging in general, and plastic packaging in particular, has a long way to go in terms of recycling, according to a pair of environmental groups.    More

Image

2014 sees modest sales increase, but profit decrease, for Dow Chemical

January 29, 2015 4:20 pm ET

Dow Chemical Co. delivered modest sales growth in 2014, but the firm's profit took a tumble.    More

Image

Resin prices continuing to tumble

January 29, 2015 2:24 pm ET

The ongoing slide in crude oil prices is taking commodity resin prices down as well.    More

Image

Materials firms look for stock rebound

January 29, 2015 1:52 pm ET

DuPont Co., A. Schulman Inc. and Rogers Corp. thrived amid the stock market chaos of 2014, but the other 12 publicly held materials firms tracked by...    More

Image

Chemtrusion, Mytex Indiana compounding plant set for expansion

January 29, 2015 1:35 pm ET

Japanese and American partners in a compounding plant in Indiana plan to expand the facility.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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