ExxonMobil Chemical Co. plans to get "instant access" to new oriented polypropylene film capacity through an agreement with a Canadian company. Bi-Ax International Inc. is installing a new OPP film line in Wingham, Ontario, and agreed to toll manufacture OPP film for Mobil Chemical Canada Ltd., an ExxonMobil subsidiary. Bi-Ax is starting the new line this month, said Bi-Ax President David Inglis.
Bi-Ax is installing an 8-meter-wide OPP line with capacity of 25 million to 30 million pounds per year, Inglis said. It purchased the Marshall & Williams line at a discount after a former, planned purchaser decided not to buy the line.
The Wingham operation is the second for Bi-Ax, which also runs an OPP plant in Tiverton, Ontario, its headquarters. Mobil Chemical Canada runs an OPP film plant in Belleville, Ontario, where it is installing metalizing capability.
ExxonMobil films spokesman Don Stewart said Mobil Chemical Canada is providing technical assistance for the launch of the new line. He provided no details on the quantities involved or grade types for the multiyear supply agreement with Bi-Ax. Inglis said ExxonMobil will market all the output from the Wingham plant, mainly in Canada and the United States.
"We need the [OPP film] capacity immediately, and installing a new line would take us about two years," Stewart said in a telephone interview from ExxonMobil's film business in Macedon, N.Y.
The agreement benefits Bi-Ax by giving it an "instant market" for its new output, he added.
The agreement "allows us the flexibility to improve the utilization of our manufacturing resources," Andrew Purdue, vice president and general manager for Americas for ExxonMobil's films business, said in a March 17 news release.
Inglis said an existing building became available in Wingham, about 30 miles from Tiverton, and Bi-Ax decided to buy it to install the line.
He did not disclose the cost of the plant and line.