MEXICO CITY - Polioles SA de CV, a 50-50 joint venture between BASF Mexicana SA de CV and Mexican industrial conglomerate Grupo Alfa, has opened its new 53 million-pound-per-year expandable polystyrene plant in Altamira, Mexico. The new 80-employee EPS plant is located in a growing petrochemicals complex in the port city of Tamaulipas state where BASF Mexicana, part of the giant German chemicals group BASF, plans to concentrate future local production on a site of 2.3 million square feet.
Production at the Polioles plant is expected to reach capacity by January, said Resendo Aja, the company's commercial director.
Aja said that 80 percent plant production is destined for the domestic market, particularly for packaging, which is proving resilient despite Mexico's continuing economic crisis.
Polioles EPS is produced with BASF technology and Mexican monomer from state oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex). The product is sold locally under the Styropor trade name. Exported EPS, sold under the Celospan trade name, will be sold in the United States, Central and South America, Aja said.
Polioles operates another EPS plant at Santa Clara, Mexico, with a capacity of about 26 million pounds per year. The aim is to shift all production to the Altamira complex, said Aja.
BASF recently opened a chemicals dispersions plant at the Altamira site and plans to add a new 315 million-pound-per-year polystyrene plant for general crystal and high-impact polymers in mid-1997.