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Shandong Dawn expands in automotive

By: Steve Toloken

October 28, 2013

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — Chinese compounder Shandong Dawn Polymer Co. Ltd. is in the midst of a large expansion to meet additional demand in China, particularly in the automotive industry.

Dawn, based in Longkou, has set up a compounding joint venture in Shanghai with Korea Petrochemical Industrial Co. Ltd. and added capacity for thermoplastic vulcanizates and color masterbatch, the latter by purchasing a smaller Chinese firm.

In an interview at the K show in Düsseldorf, Dawn import and export director Derek Zhang said the company, which has annual revenues of about 8.4 billion Chinese yuan (US$1.37 billion), is continuing to see solid growth, in contrast to the general slowdown in the overall Chinese economy.

"We are different: We are growing smoothly,'' Zhang said. "This year we are growing 30 percent in turnover.''

He said the increasing demand for quality in China's automotive market is a big reason for the growth, with Dawn having customers among local Chinese automakers and the foreign-Chinese joint ventures.

"A Chinese-brand car is more and more acceptable to people,'' he said. "It's easier and easier for the Chinese compounder to supply materials.''

At K, the company introduced an injection molding grade of thermoplastic vulcanizates, and said it sees potential in markets like medical. Customers have been asking for injection molding grades since 2007, Zhang said.

"This just came out of the laboratory,'' he said.

The company claims to be China's largest compounder of TPV, and the third-largest in the world. It's adding two European-made compounding lines to give it an additional 10,000 metric tons of TPV capacity by the end of the year, on top of the 20,000 tonnes it currently has.

It has capacity for about 100,000 metric tons of plastic compounds and will add up to 50,000 tonnes with the new Shanghai plant, which began operating in September, Zhang said. As well, the company added a color masterbatch facility in Qingdao by buying a smaller local compounder earlier this year, he said.

The new Qingdao plant has more than 10,000 tonnes of capacity.

Overall, the company has 2,300 employees and more than 30 extrusion lines. It also has a resin trading business, but more than two-thirds of its revenues come from producing and compounding plastic materials, and most of its sales are in China, the company said.