Swiss additives maker Sukano Products Ltd. has opened its first North American compounding plant, in Duncan, S.C.
The 23,000-square-foot, $4 million plant opened in late July and will be making commercial-grade compounds and concentrates by the end of August, Sukano USA President Jeffrey Best said in an Aug. 3 phone interview.
The plant will start with one twin-screw extrusion line with annual capacity of 7 million pounds. Most of the plant's products will be based on PET and copolyester, but some work also will be done in polycarbonate and polypropylene.
Most of the plant's output will be sold into the extruded film and sheet market, with a smaller amount going into blown film and injection molding, Best said. Additives used in its products include ultraviolet light absorbers, optical brighteners and clarifying agents. White color concentrates also will be available.
Best said that Sukano, which is based in Schindelligi, Switzerland, chose a site in North America because of interest from multinational customers with sites in the region.
``Customers wanted to buy our material here,'' Best said. ``And in South Carolina, there are a lot of workers with expertise and skill sets from the polyester business.''
Initially, Sukano USA's customer base mostly will be on the East Coast, but Best said the firm has seen ``a lot of interest'' in its products from the Midwest as well.