Chinese WPC startup sees opportunities locally

By Steve Toloken
News Editor / International

Published: November 6, 2012 6:00 am ET

Zieggy Zhang, GM of Ningbo Helong, at the company's factory in Ningbo (Plastics News photo by Steve Toloken)

Related to this story

Topics Materials Suppliers Construction Consumer Products
Companies & Associations

NINGBO, CHINA (Nov. 6, 12:15 p.m. ET) — Hoping to take advantage of China’s growing local market for wood-plastic composite decking and other products, a startup Chinese manufacturer has invested 90 million Chinese yuan ($14.3 million) in a new extrusion factory in Ningbo. 

Ningbo Helong New Material Co. Ltd. opened the factory in May, and plans to focus a majority of its initial capacity of 44 million pounds a year on China’s domestic market because it sees growing familiarity and acceptance of WPC, said General Manager Zieggy Zhang.

“In past years people in China did not know about WPC but in recent years WPC factories have shown their products to people with advertisements and [trade] shows, and more and more people know about WPC,” Zhang said, in an interview at the China Sixth International Forum of WPC, held Nov. 3-4 in Ningbo.

He said about 60 percent of its initial production will be targeted to the domestic market, which puts the company somewhat at odds with the traditional export focus of Chinese WPC manufacturers like Helong, which use polyethylene as their main plastic raw material.

Historically exports have accounted for about 70 percent of the industry’s sales, but the domestic share of the Chinese production has been growing.

The main driver for China’s domestic wood-plastic composites market is government projects like parks and public buildings, rather than individual homeowners or buildings as in North America, which is the world’s largest market for WPC, Zhang said.

Also, a high percentage of Chinese urban residents live in apartments, and those in single-family homes that might be potential customers for decking or other outdoor products are in rural areas and generally don’t have as much money as city dwellers, Zhang said.

Helong is targeting about 50 million yuan ($7.9 million) in sales this year and 120 million yuan ($19 million) in 2013. It has 21 Chinese-made extrusion lines at the Ningbo factory, Zhang said.

The company plans to expand capacity to 110 million pounds a year within two years, and as it expands it wants to have its sales evenly split between domestic and international business, Zhang said. It’s targeting Asia and Europe as its main export markets, he said.

The company’s raw materials are recycled PE, sourced mainly from Central and South America and South Africa, along with either wood flour or rice husk.

Helong held a factory open house Nov. 4 in connection with the Ningbo forum, which was organized by the Wood Plastic Composites Committee of the Beijing-based China Plastic Processing Industry Association.


Comments

Chinese WPC startup sees opportunities locally

By Steve Toloken
News Editor / International

Published: November 6, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Dow Chemical sees potential for PE growth in packaging

March 30, 2015 1:17 pm ET

The packaging market continues to provide growth for the polyethylene business of Dow Chemical Co. — which is a good thing, since the firm will ...    More

Image

TPUs finding applications in drug-delivery applications

March 30, 2015 12:56 pm ET

Lubrizol Corp. is sending its thermoplastic polyurethane products into medical products, foam and film.    More

Image

Production begins at Sipchem's new EVA, LDPE plant

March 30, 2015 10:36 am ET

A unit of Saudi International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem) will start commercial operations at its ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) and low density...    More

Image

Dow Chemical to merge chlorine operations with Olin

March 27, 2015 12:43 pm ET

Dow Chemical Co. is combining a large part of its chlorine value chain with specialty chemicals and ammunition maker Olin Corp. to create a global...    More

Image

Eastman Chemical expanding Tritan co-polyester capacity

March 27, 2015 10:00 am ET

Eastman Chemical Co.'s Tritan-brand co-polyester business continues to grow, with 35 million pounds of capacity added late last year and a second plan...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

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

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion 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

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events