MEXICO CITY — Work is progressing on compounder A. Schulman de Mexico SA de CV's plans to spend $7.5 million to open a second extrusion line at its Mexican facility.
The expansion will double capacity of the facility, in San Luis Potos¡, from 25 million pounds to 50 million pounds annually, said Stuart Allen Cameron, director general of Schulman de Mexico. He spoke in a Sept. 11 interview at PlastImagen '97 in Mexico City.
The addition is scheduled to begin production by early 1998.
``We are excited about it because it allows us to complete our polybatch line'' and expand the plant's production beyond pigmented masterbatches that are produced there now, he said. The facility will be able to make specialty masterbatches for biaxially oriented polypropylene film, Cameron said.
The new line will supply all of South America, company officials said. Mexico is an important market for Schulman partially because of the export potential from trade agreements Mexico is inking with Central and South America, said Manuel de Jesus Equi Dibildox, director of technical services.
``This is one of Schulman's most important markets around the world,'' Cameron said.
Schulman does about $25 million in business annually in Mexico, with the San Luis Potosi plant doing about $18 million a year. The firm's main markets in Mexico are automotive, packaging, agriculture and housewares.
Cameron said Schulman remains interested in putting another plant in South America, but said the company has not found the right circumstances.
The company also unveiled its plastic paper product, Papermatch, in Mexico. The blend of 50 percent HDPE and 50 percent Schulman additives has been marketed in other countries for several years.
``The intent of Papermatch is not to substitute plastic for paper,'' Cameron said. ``The intent is to substitute Papermatch for specialty papers'' such as restaurant menus and labels where barrier properties are important, he said.
A Papermatch label on an HDPE bottle makes recycling easier because the label does not need to be removed from the bottle, company officials said.