Malaysia helps fund plastic industrial park
SINGAPORE — Malaysia's eastern state of Terengganu soon may be home to petrochemical operators and more than 20 plastics processors, led by the country's state-owned energy enterprise, Petroliam Nasional Bhd. (Petronas).
The Terengganu state government has set aside $1.6 million for preliminary work on the proposed 138-acre plastics technology park near the city of Dungun, on Malaysia's east coast.
The federal government will fork out an additional $1.6 million to develop the site, which is part of the government-designated Eastern Corridor Industrial Zone, according to the state-owned news agency Bernama.
Petronas hopes to draw on huge natural gas reserves offshore from Terengganu as feedstock for petrochemical products, such as polyethylene, polypropylene and styrene monomer, to serve local processors.
The idea of a plastics industrial park in Terengganu was sparked in August by the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association in Selangor to enable its 870 member companies to acquire land, labor and raw materials at a discount amid rising business costs.
German and Canadian petrochemical firms have expressed interest in setting up plants in Terengganu to serve local plastics processors, according to a state official.
PE and PP resin producers in Malaysia enjoy some import protection from a 30 percent tariff on such products. Other plastics products have import tariffs ranging from 10-20 percent, according to industry sources.
Rauh Rubber expands and gets into plastic
AKRON, OHIO — Custom rubber compounder Rauh Rubber Inc. is branching into plastics with a new, $4 million facility in Akron.
The 100,000-square-foot facility has the capacity to compound 30 million pounds of plastics annually, and to reprocess 10 million pounds of rubber.
The facility processes general-purpose, high-impact ABS for extrusion and injection.
The new facility includes temperature-controlled ribbon blenders that feed blended raw material into a dual, 10-inch compounding extruder. The line can process 70,000-pound batches or can perform continuous-feed production with post-blending. The company said it also plans to add a dual, 6-inch compounding extrusion line.
Rauh also has expanded its quality control and research and development laboratories with a Boy injection molding machine with 50 tons of clamping force, a 36-to-1 compounding extruder and other equipment.
Brenner gets funding from Pa., investors
CROYDON, PA. — Brenner Tool & Die Inc. received an equipment loan from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund.
The $500,000 loan with private investment totals $1.04 million. The Croydon-based company has been expanding since 1996, said a company spokesman.
The firm recently purchased a nearby building to give the firm 170,000 square feet of space for its 70-75 machines for metal and plastics processing.
The firm is a machine shop for proprietary items such as injection and blow molding machines. Brenner also specializes in precision welding, sheet metal fabricating and metal stamping.
The company's annual sales are about $30 million.
Toshiba epoxy plant opens in Singapore
SINGAPORE — Toshiba Chemical Corp., a unit of Toshiba Corp., earlier this month officially started its first epoxy resin plant outside of Japan, with a nameplate capacity of about 8 million pounds per year.
The factory in western Singapore employs 40 and currently is running at 10-30 percent of maximum output after several months of test runs. It is scheduled to reach full production by the end of the year as orders increase.
``This is the first plant we have outside Japan,'' said a company source who requested anonymity. ``We might be opening more in this region if it is successful.''
The Tokyo-based company plans to supply epoxy resin packaging to the semiconductor industry in the Asia Pacific region. Sales from the plant will hit $43 million by 2000, according to company estimates.
The $40 million factory also produces insulation varnish used in cathode-ray television tubes.
Toshiba Chemical operates two other epoxy resin plants in Japan. The company expects sales in the 1997-98 fiscal year to rise 2.6 percent to $316 million.
U.S., Israeli firms plan to form venture
SAN DIEGO — Planet Polymer Technologies Inc. of San Diego and an Israeli government-owned firm in Tel Aviv, Israel, expect by November to form a joint venture to make and market Planet's degradable engineered polymers. The initial market includes Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Plant Polymer and an Israeli ministry's Environmental Services Co. (Ramat Hovav) Ltd. reached a memorandum of understanding June 27. Each would own 50 percent, with Planet Polymer providing technological and scientific expertise, marketing collateral and technical support and the Israeli firm contributing yet-to-be-determined financial capital required through the first year of commercialization.
Custom Manufacturers Inc. of Gladwin, Mich., has expanded its 16,200-square-foot plant to accommodate a larger parts department. The 3,400-square-foot expansion provides room for a new roll forming machine. The firm employs 35 and plans to add more. A company spokesman would not disclose the cost of the expansion or annual sales. CMI makes vacuum formers and operates a parts department.
Machinery distributor DABR Industries Inc. of Placentia, Calif., recently became incorporated. With the move, the company established two divisions: injection molding sales and extrusion sales. The company has sold more than $1 million in equipment since incorporating.