Clariant says Asia holds the key to growth

By Robert Grace
Associate Publisher & Business Development Director

Published: April 23, 2014 3:52 pm ET
Updated: April 23, 2014 3:54 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Asia, Materials Suppliers, CHINAPLAS
Companies & Associations Clariant International Ltd.

SHANGHAI — Clariant AG is based in Switzerland, but its eyes are firmly focused further east.

“Our future lies in Asia,” declared Christian Kohlpaintner, a member of the executive committee of the multinational specialty chemicals supplier, in Shanghai on April 22. He was addressing a group of (mostly Chinese) media representatives at a Clariant press event on the day before the Chinaplas 2014 trade show opened.

Kohlpaintner pointed out how the company's sales in the Greater China region (which includes South Korea, by Clariant's definition) increased by 7.3 percent last year, to 646 million Swiss francs ($730 million). Its 1,500 employees in China represent 8 percent of Clariant's global workforce of just over 18,000. The broader Asia Pacific region accounted for 23 percent of the firm's SwF 6.08 billion ($6.87 billion) in 2013 sales. And company officials only expect those percentages to rise.

That growth is being driven in part by aggressive investments in the region, which company officials outlined at the media event. While Kohlpaintner would not be drawn out on specifics about these various projects, he did say that if all the announced expansions proceed as planned, they will represent a total investment in “the low double-digit millions” of Swiss francs.

Here's a snapshot of Clariant's activity in the region:

• Its Masterbatches business unit — which has four production units and two sales offices in Greater China — plans to double manufacturing capacity at its Guangzhou site in South China, and build a new plant (targeting textile fiber customers) at its Tangerang site in Indonesia.

• Its Pigments business unit — which has two production sites and is doubling (to 28 people) the size of its marketing and technical sales staff in Greater China — reasserted its announced intention to build a "world-scale plant" in Zhenjiang, China, to make Pigment Violet 23 (PV 23), a high-performance pigment used in wide variety of formulations and applications in coatings, plastics and printing inks. That same business unit also plans to build a new pigments preparation plant in Tangerang, Indonesia, and boost production capacity at its Roha, India, plant by about 50 percent.

•  Its Additives business unit — whose portfolio includes Addworks polymer additives as well as Exolit flame retardants and various processing aids — currently is evaluating options for a new plant (probably by early 2016) to make its Ceridust miconized waxes. The additives business unit currently operates one joint-venture plant in Greater China, in Kunming, Yunnan province, but Clariant is considering building a new plant for Addworks products in Zhenjiang.

In an interview session after the press conference, Heinter Mertens, head of the masterbatches business in Asia Pacific, also commented on Clariant's recently introduced liquid masterbatch service called HiFormer. He noted that liquid is “still a niche,” accounting for less than 5 percent of the overall market, but said he sees strong, double-digit growth for the liquid products for next few years. Some of that, Mertens noted, will be market growth and some will be product substitution.


Comments

Clariant says Asia holds the key to growth

By Robert Grace
Associate Publisher & Business Development Director

Published: April 23, 2014 3:52 pm ET
Updated: April 23, 2014 3:54 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Foster building medical polymers plant

September 19, 2014 1:39 pm ET

Foster Delivery Science is investing $8 million in a new plant in Putnam, Conn., for production of medical polymer blends, as well as rods, film or...    More

Image

BP to restart damaged PTA unit in limited capacity by November

September 19, 2014 10:27 am ET

British Petroleum plc may restart its fire-damaged purified terephthalic acid (PTA) feedstock unit in South Carolina in late October or early...    More

Image

Bayer spinning off plastics business

September 18, 2014 8:49 am ET

Bayer AG will spin off its MaterialScience plastics group into a separate, publicly-traded company within the next 12 to 18 months.    More

Image

Investor group wants DuPont to split in two

September 18, 2014 7:37 pm ET

Investment firm Trian Fund Management LP is calling for plastics and chemicals giant DuPont Co. to split itself into two firms, one of which would...    More

Image

Minnesota receives grant to help develop new bioplastics

September 17, 2014 4:08 pm ET

The University of Minnesota has received a $20 million grant to fund the development of new types of bioplastics.    More

Market Reports

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

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events