Latin America netting business for Husky
MIAMI — Things are picking up for Husky Injection Molding Systems Mexico SA de CV in Latin America, said Guillermo Fasterling, area manager for northern Mexico in Monterrey, Mexico.
Husky has had an office in Mexico for seven years. It opened the Monterrey office a few months ago. The Bolton, Ontario, parent also is opening a Colombian office.
The fastest-growing Latin American markets are for PET bottles in Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador, following the boom in the Mexican PET market that began about six years ago, he said.
Husky just finished installing injection molding and robotic equipment at Plastic Omnium Autom¢vil SA de CV, a supplier for the Volkswagen plant in Puebla, Mexico. The firm bought three presses, with clamping forces of 900, 1,000 and 3,000 tons. All were two-platen, E-series presses.
The Plastic Omnium plant officially opens June 19. It is a unit of Paris-based Compagnie Plastic Omnium SA.
Fasterling was interviewed at Plasticos de las Americas, held April 15-17 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
The Philippines' first chemical plant opens
BATANGAS, PHILIPPINES — The Philippines' first integrated polypropylene and polyethylene plant began commercial operations.
The Batangas facility, which cost $350 million, is the product of a joint venture called JG Summit Petrochemical Corp. It will produce 385 million pounds of PE per year, and 396 million pounds of PP, using Unipol technology.
Gokongwei Group of Makati, Philippines, owns 80 percent of the new company, and Marubeni Corp. of Tokyo owns the rest.
Wilfredo Paras, executive vice president and chief operating officer of JG, said the plant's completion was delayed by legal problems involving the 25-acre site.
The Philippine Court of Appeals finally gave the green light for the project, which had been endorsed and granted tax perks by the Board of Investments. The venture will be free of income tax for six years and will be able to import capital equipment duty-free.
The Philippines now imports almost all of its resin. Paras said having a Philippine producer of petrochemicals will assure stability in the supply and prices of PP and PE for the domestic market and generate foreign exchange savings for the country.
The local chemical industry had been lobbying for protective tariffs of 20 percent on some imported products, primarily polypropylene and PVC resin. Tariffs on these products remain at 10 percent.
The Philippine Tariff Commission deferred a decision on whether to raise tariffs on imported petrochemicals. Chairman Emmanuel Velasco said the commission will finalize the rates once the JG Summit and Mabuhay Vinyl Chloride petrochemical plants are in full operation.
The plant expects to operate at 85 percent capacity in the first year of operations, with 90 percent of the production to be sold in the domestic market.
Spanish firm orders four extrusion lines
BARCELONA, SPAIN — Spanish plastics packaging firm Armando Alvarez SA is expanding its polyethylene film production with four new extrusion lines.
The Barcelona-based company has ordered three three-layer blown film lines to produce industrial packaging films for bag manufacture and one cast film line for stretch wrap, according to Battenfeld Gloucester Europe Ltd.
The order is the latest in a series that the firm has placed with Battenfeld of Droitwich, England. Armando Alvarez has installed eight Battenfeld blown film lines at plants across Spain since 1995.
Grupo Alvarez comprises 13 companies that produce and supply rigid and flexible packaging domestically and overseas. The company is a major extruder and coextruder of specialty PE films, industrial packaging and agricultural film.
A leading division is Aspla Plasticos Espa¤oles SA of Torrelavega, Spain.That unit operates 14 plants that extrude, print and laminate film packaging. The 30-year-old firm also is an injection and rotational molder.