The follow items were gathered by Plastics News correspondent Sandra Mara Costa during Brasilplast 2003, held March 10-14 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Unipac to increase bus seat production
Unipac Indústria e Comercio Ltda. of Pompeia, Brazil, since November has been expanding production of blow molded seats for city buses.
The company supplies Caio Induscar, a Brazilian assembler of bus bodies that also sells to other countries in South and Central America. Unipac has made about 20,000 of the high density polyethylene seats, said Paulo Turim, sales supervisor-automotive. The project required a reinvestment of 100,000 reais (roughly $30,000) for the mold, which was paid by the bus-body assembler.
In addition, Unipac makes plastic fuel tanks, reservoirs, air ducts and other components. It also makes water reservoirs for homes, packaging, and containers for the food, hygiene, cleaning and agricultural areas.
The firm has four multipurpose plants in the Brazilian states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and employs 780. The facilities have a total of 135 plastics molding lines, covering blow molding, injection molding, extrusion, thermoforming and rotomolding. Total production capacity reaches 3.08 million pounds of resins per month. Sales were not disclosed.
S. American leaders launch PVC network
Industry leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela created, during Brasilplast 2003, an organization aimed at stimulating the use of PVC in South America.
The organization is called Rede Sulamericana do PVC (South American PVC Network) and its main goal is to exchange information and experiences related to environment, technology development and mediation/relations with society.
``We want to be a forum where common issues can be discussed. The idea is to learn and grow with each others' experiences and focus on the sustainable development of the PVC industry,'' said Assis Esmeraldo, president of the PVC Institute of Brazil.
The PVC Institute was a leader in creating the new organization, together with PVC makers Solvay Indupa S.A.I.C of Bahia Blanca, Argentina; Petco-Petroquímica Colombiana SA of Bogota, Colombia; and Pequiven, a subsidiary of PetrÃ³leos de Venezuela SA of Caracas, Venezuela.
Rede Sulamericana do PVC will meet every six months. The group's next meeting is set for October in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.
* Polibrasil Resinas SA took advantage of the show to inaugurate its fourth polypropylene plant. The US$217 million, 300,000-ton-per-year facility utilizes the Slurry-Spheripol process and is in Maua, Brazil. Sao Paulo-based Polibrasil is a 50-50 venture between Basell NV of Hoofddorp, Netherlands, and the Brazilian group Companhia Suzano de Papel e Celulose of Sao Paulo.
* Rio Polímeros SA of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is preparing to launch, as of July 2004, a petrochemical complex in Duque de Caxias that will produce ethane and 540,000 tons per year of polyethylene resins. High and linear low density PE and metallocene PE will be manufactured using two Univation gas phase lines. The US$1.08 billion investment has been financed partially by the US Eximbank (US$200 million) and a pool of Italian banks (US$183 million).
* Videolar SA manufactures videotapes, cassette tapes, compact discs, mini floppy discs and other components for the electronics industry in Manaus, Brazil, where it launched a US$50 million, 120,000-ton-per-year polystyrene plant in late 2002. The unit uses a Fina Technology Inc. process and is a swing line that can produce both high-impact and crystal grades. The plant was conceived to fulfill Videolar's needs, whereby it supplies the market with all its excess volume. Videolar is based in Barueri, Brazil.