Perfecseal opening facility in Malaysia
PHILADELPHIA — Perfecseal Inc., a manufacturer of medical products packaging, is entering the Asia-Pacific region with a converting plant in Malaysia.
The Philadelphia-based company's 22,000-square-foot, leased plant in Selangor will begin production in April. Perfecseal Asia Pacific SDN BHD will offer Perfecseal's entire product line and printing, pouch-making, slitting, custom tray thermoforming and rewinding capabilities. One machine for each operation will be in place when the facility opens.
Customers will include CR Bard Inc., Kendall Co., Baxter Healthcare Corp., Alligence Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Nypro Inc. and Terumo Medical Corp.
``Perfecseal needs to be in Asia for the service and communications advantages when located near multinational, Japanese and Chinese companies throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim,'' B.L. Lim, managing director of Perfecseal Asia Pacific, said in a news release.
The first phase of the new operation will be dominated by coated roll stock, films and laminations.
Perfecseal is a division of Curwood Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Bemis Co. Inc. Bemis' film and sheet sales last year were $804.3 million, and overall sales were $1.6 billion.
PU foam makers face price-fixing penalties
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Two Queensland-based flexible polyurethane foam manufacturers have been fined A$1.9 million (US$1.24 million) by the Federal Court of Australia in Melbourne, for price fixing.
The companies, Foamlite (Australia) Pty. Ltd. and Vita Pacific Ltd., which both trade as Dunlop Flexible Foams, are subsidiaries of Melbourne-based Pacific Dunlop Ltd.
The court found that the units made deals with rival flexible PU foam producer Joyce Corp. Ltd. to set prices for industrial foam sold to Queensland furniture makers.
The maximum corporate penalty for price fixing in Australia is A$10 million (US$6.53 million). Brisbane, Australia-based Alan Ducret, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's Queensland regional director, said Pacific Dunlop's level of cooperation accounted for the more- lenient penalties.
He said Joyce had not helped ACCC's investigation. ACCC will make a decision in a few months on charges against Perth, Australia-based Joyce and its executives. Joyce is Australia's largest PU foam producer.
South Korea wages anti-dumping duties
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — Adopting the stance that offense is the best form of defense, the South Korean Trade Commission in Seoul has slapped preliminary anti-dumping duties on polyvinyl alcohol from Japan and silicon manganese from China.
This move follows anti-dumping petitions lodged by South Korean producers late last year, according to South Korean news reports.
During the past year, South Korean companies have been blamed for dumping PVC in Australia, purified terephthalic acid in China, acrylonitrile in Japan and computer memory chips in the United States.
The trade commission, which operates under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, recently said it would ask the Ministry of Finance and Economy to impose punitive duties ranging from 29.2 percent to 58.3 percent on five Japanese exporters of PVOH and duties of 20.6 percent on silicon manganese from China.
In coming months, the KTC could impose further anti-dumping duties on foreign petrochemical and plastics products in retaliation against similar actions taken by its international trading partners, according to industry sources.
PTT presses Chevron to aid Thai Paraxylene
BANGKOK, THAILAND — Chevron Chemical Inc. is facing pressure from the state-owned Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) to take up a 62 percent interest in Thai Paraxylene Co. held by ailing local firm Thai Oil Co.
The $250 million aromatics project in the oil-refining district of Sri Racha is scheduled to produce 771.6 million pounds of paraxylene a year in the first half of 1999.
Earlier this month, PTT governor Pala Sookawesh told the local media, ``If Chevron agrees to take part in Thai Paraxylene, it will help Thai Oil to solve its liquidity problem, since the company has a big burden with interest payments and a low refining margin.''
Chevron already is in advanced planning stages for another aromatics plant, due to begin operating in 2000. The $1.2 billion facility is designed to produce 1.5 billion pounds of paraxylene and 1.1 billion pounds of benzene a year.
However, PTT has considerable leverage on Chevron as a state regulator and a 40 percent shareholder in Chevron's aromatics plant.
Since the Thai baht's July devaluation, several large petrochemical projects were shelved.