A. Schulman steps up investment in Asia

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: May 22, 2013 1:35 pm ET
Updated: May 22, 2013 1:38 pm ET

Image By: Plastics News photo by Steve Toloken Derek Bristow, A. Schulman's vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Materials Suppliers, CHINAPLAS
Companies & Associations A. Schulman Inc.

GUANGZHOU, CHINA — Materials firm A. Schulman Inc. is in the midst of an expansion that is more than doubling capacity at its compounding plant in Dongguan, China, part of a broader effort to make Asia a much larger portion of global sales.

The Fairlawn, Ohio-based firm added a compounding line for engineering plastics in Dongguan in late 2012, and plans to add one more each for engineering plastics and masterbatches there in the next 18 months.

It's one of a series of investments planned to grow Asian revenues from less than 10 percent of global business to something more balanced with its other major regions, said Derek Bristow, vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific for A. Schulman, in a May 22 interview at the Chinaplas trade show.

"In the next 5 years we would like to quadruple sales in Asia," he said. "We have fairly ambitious growth plans for Asia."

Bristow said the company also is looking at buying other companies or factories: "Obviously we want to grow organically but we are looking seriously at finding acquisitions throughout Asia."

The investments in Dongguan include a 9,000 metric ton compounding line for engineering plastics that started operating in late 2012, and plans for two more lines of 15,000 tons each engineering plastics and masterbatches that will become operational in the next 18 months.

That would bring capacity at the plant from 30,000 tonnes at the start of 2012 to 69,000 tonnes.

"In China we find that the engineering polymers business is doing better than we expected," Bristow said. "China is actually our most profitable business in Asia."

He attributed the success in China partly to the company's links with global manufacturers, and their need for material that meets their specifications at their China factories.

The company in April opened its first factory in India, for manufacturing additive concentrates.

That factory's first production line likely will fill up in six months, and require a second, and the company is also looking at adding compounding capacity for engineering plastics in India in several years, he said.

A. Schulman plans a smaller capacity expansion in Malaysia as well, he said. It also has Asia Pacific factories in Australia and Indonesia.

"Asia Pacific has got a much, much bigger chunk of the investment pie," he said.


Comments

A. Schulman steps up investment in Asia

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: May 22, 2013 1:35 pm ET
Updated: May 22, 2013 1:38 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Two Eastman buildings among 10 biggest energy savers in national contest

April 22, 2014 11:35 am ET

Two offices at the headquarters of Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn., ranked in the Top 10 for energy efficiency in the latest Energy Star...    More

Image

Material Insights: Shell Chemical meets with residents

April 21, 2014 2:16 pm ET

Power outage at a PE plant and the return of a PVC feedstock plant after a fire on this week's Material Insights.    More

DuPont: Asia's food packaging market at a major transition point

April 21, 2014 1:26 pm ET

DuPont Co. touted its packaging innovations and applications, and updated the firm's commercial status at a media event two days before the Chinaplas ...    More

Officials warn China's PVC overcapacity will only get worse

April 21, 2014 3:47 pm ET

Despite worsening overcapacity, China still imports a million tons of PVC.    More

Chinese coal mining company Jinhui launches bioplastic factory

April 21, 2014 10:18 am ET

Chinese coal mining company Shanxi Jinhui Energy Group Co. Ltd. is diversifying into bioplastics, launching production this month on a $35 million, 20...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

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

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events