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

A. Schulman reports growth in sales and profit

October 22, 2014 7:58 pm ET

Executives with materials maker A. Schulman Inc. have to be smiling after seeing full results for the firm's 2014 fiscal year.    More

Image

PolyOne takes on LED lighting

October 22, 2014 4:23 pm ET

PolyOne Corp. is making inroads into LED lighting applications with its Therma-Tech-brand material technology.    More

Image

Simple lightweighting in packaging, caps not so simple anymore

October 22, 2014 4:16 pm ET

The days of finding simple ways to remove additional weight — and costs — from plastic bottles are over, according to one expert.    More

Image

Sales, orders climbing for Wittmann Battenfeld

October 22, 2014 4:04 pm ET

Equipment maker Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH expects sales this year to increase 7 percent, to 295 million euros, as it said some key markets, including...    More

Image

Bergen International adds manufacturing space, extrusion line

October 22, 2014 3:42 pm ET

Chemical foaming agent manufacturer Bergen International LLC recently doubled its manufacturing capacity, added an extrusion line and laboratory space...    More

Market Reports

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

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 analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

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

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