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Bluestar Silicones expands in long-term implant market

By: Chris Sweeney
RUBBER & PLASTICS NEWS

March 19, 2014

YORK, S.C. — Bluestar Silicones USA Corp. will expand its presence in the global health care market by supporting select long-term implant applications.

The firm said its facility in York will be its global center for the company's implant-grade liquid silicone rubber, high consistency rubber and room temperature vulcanized rubber. The facility opened in 2012 and includes clean rooms, enhanced systems and a research and development facility.

Bluestar said it already has created jobs at York and expects that process to continue as the business grows.

“Our goal is to create a real impact in this zone,” said Christopher York, president of Bluestar Silicones North America. “It's a very large marketplace, and we are an active participant on the specialties side. We're now set up with our site in York to expand upon our footprint and really show that we are here to stay.”

York said the South Carolina facility is the first milestone in the implementation of the firm's 10-year strategic plan to position Bluestar Silicones as a significant silicones player in the North American and global health care markets.

The firm was involved with implantables in the past, before it spun off from Rhodia Group. York said Rhodia pulled out of the implantables market in 2003.

“We've been in the health care industry for a long time, and it was a natural evolution for us,” York said. “With the new site we put in place in York, we've designed this plant to support the health care industry by putting in clean rooms, new labs, pilot facilities and invested in our people in order to support a greater spectrum of opportunities in the health care industry.”

Bluestar has plans for the York facility to support all long-term implantable applications around the world, York said. The facility is a combination of a number of sites Bluestar acquired over the years.

Its facilities in Toronto; Troy, N.Y.; Ventura, Calif.; and Rock Hill, S.C., combined for 90,000 square feet. Bluestar has consolidated those facilities into its 236,000-square-foot York facility. York said the new facility gives Bluestar some breathing room to install new workshops and bring competencies it has around the world to its U.S. customers.

“Focused long-term growth in the implant market is a natural evolution for Bluestar Silicones,” Bluestar Silicones CEO Pascal Chalvon Demersay said in a statement.

“We have a strong global base in health care, and now, with our new cutting-edge facility in York, we are well-positioned to build upon the momentum we've gained.”

Bluestar Silicones is a $650 million worldwide silicones raw material provider, headquartered in Lyon, France. Paper release, textile coatings, specialty fluids and automotive are some of the main industries Bluestar serves in addition to medical.