Ampacet Corp., a leading producer of masterbatch color and additive compounds, plans to add 175 million pounds of capacity by 2001 through acquisitions and expansions in North America, Europe, Asia and South America.
The Tarrytown, N.Y.-based firm added 80 million pounds of capacity earlier this year when it acquired Baron Colour Concentrates Ltd., a Kitchener, Ontario, firm with manufacturing in Kitchener; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Huntersville, N.C.
Ampacet also plans to add a total of 50 million pounds of capacity at existing facilities in Messancy, Belgium, and Telgate, Italy, as well as launching a joint venture in Argentina and opening a wholly owned facility in Thailand. When these projects are completed, Ampacet will have 575 million pounds of annual masterbatch capacity, about 17.5 percent of the 3.5 billion pound global market.
Company officials said the masterbatch industry is growing at a 6 percent annual rate and should hit the 4.4 billion pound mark in 2001. North America, Europe and Japan consume about three-quarters of masterbatch production. Blown and cast film, blow molding and injection molding account for about 70 percent of the masterbatch market.
``Ampacet has always had a significant presence in global markets,'' David Weil, Ampacet president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. ``The need to expand that presence is made obvious by a glance at the global market for masterbatch.''
Ampacet is promoting new masterbatch compounds in the flexible packaging, protective film and agricultural film markets. New masterbatches are being used in:
Thin, gel-free polyethylene films to cover cars during shipping from factories to dealers.
Anti-static PE films for electronic packaging.
Anti-fog PE film for fresh-cut produce packaging.
Biocide PE films to prevent the growth of fungal and bacterial microorganisms.
Agricultural mulch films to extend growing seasons, control weeds, reduce pesticide usage and increase crop yield.