Ampacet buys firm, adding Mexico site
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. - Ampacet Corp., a major producer of color and additive concentrates, has purchased a Polish concentrates and distribution firm and is constructing a plant in Mexico.
``We have to be global and have to be able to offer these products,'' President and Chief Executive Officer Robert DeFalco said in a June 16 phone interview.
The Polish acquisition is Sembodja Polska Sp.zo.o, a Warsaw-based firm that has distributed Ampacet products for more than 10 years. Sembodja Polska operates three concentrate production lines in Warsaw making small-lot custom color masterbatches and compounds for film, extrusion and molding applications.
The firm also operates warehouses in Warsaw, Poznan and Micholow distributing commodity resins for several materials makers. Sembodja Polska employs 20 and has annual sales of about $10 million.
Tarrytown-based Ampacet bought Sembodja Polska from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, manufacturer Sembodja BV.
Terms were not disclosed.
The purchase is Ampacet's third in Europe in the past three years. In 2003, the firm bought concentrates makers in England and Italy.
In Mexico, Ampacet is building a 40,000-square-foot plant in Queretaro. The plant will have multiple twin-screw extrusion lines, a color lab and office space and is set to open by the end of the year. Plant operations will include a blending station.
The new plant largely will provide material for Mexican rigid and flexible packaging markets. Those markets currently are served by Ampacet plants in the United States and South America.
Counting the plants in Poland and Mexico, Ampacet operates 17 plants worldwide. The privately held firm employs 1,400 and has annual sales of more than $625 million, with almost 900 million pounds of concentrates capacity.
DeFalco said Ampacet will continue to explore adding manufacturing sites in India, Russia and several other locations.
S. Korea firm to make Moldflow controllers
FRAMINGHAM, MASS. - Yudo Co. Ltd., a South Korean maker of hot-runner systems, will manufacture Moldflow Corp.'s Altanium hot-runner process-control products for sale in China.
Altanium, a modular, small-footprint hot-runner controller, can support 384 temperature zones.
Framingham-based Moldflow said the manufacturing agreement expands the relationship between the two companies. Yudo, based in Hwasung, South Korea, already distributes the Altanium worldwide.
Under the manufacturing agreement, announced June 6, Yudo placed an initial order with Moldflow for $600,000 worth of components.
Yudo is a good partner because the company has experience making and selling hot-runner products in Asia, said Tim Triplett, Moldflow's executive vice president and general manager of manufacturing solutions.
Exemption program seeking toolmakers
LANSING, MICH. - The state of Michigan is looking for toolmakers in need of a little help.
The state created the Tool and Die Recovery Zones program in 2004, granting small shops the ability to operate nearly free of taxes for as long as 15 years.
Its first eight zones encompass 33 companies, and the Lansing-based Michigan Economic Development Corp. has started accepting applications to find the businesses that will fill out another 12 zones.
The districts operate similarly to the state's Renaissance Zones, which created areas where qualified companies are exempted from state or local taxes. The tool and die unit aims to help struggling toolmakers.
The bulk of the first zones were created by regional coalitions, allowing multiple firms to qualify for the tax break. The Great Lakes Tool & Die Collaborative, for instance, covers 11 companies in seven counties.
To qualify, properties must be leased or owned by a qualified tool and die business and used primarily for tool and die operations. Each company must have fewer than 50 full-time employees, and local governments must add their support by agreeing to the tax incentives.
MEDC expects to announce winning applications by the end of this year.
Norstar teaming up with Indian company
CEDARBURG, WIS. - Rotational mold builder Norstar International LLC is expanding to India through a partnership with Alpha Industry Inc. of Pune, India.
Norstar will provide, on a contractual basis, training on mold-finishing techniques to Alpha, which has not made rotational molds before. Norstar also will supply aluminum castings made using its proprietary technology for Alpha to shape into rotational molds, said Norstar Managing Director Ravi Mehra in a telephone interview. High-quality aluminum castings are in short supply in the region, he added.
``The rotational molding market in India and surrounding regions is at the beginning stages of very rapid growth, and good sources of machines, resins and tooling are critical to that growth,'' Mehra said.
Pune, about 100 miles southeast of Mumbai, is an important manufacturing center, Mehra said. Alpha's first order is to supply Bajaj Auto, a major producer of two- and three-wheel vehicles, which runs a plant in Pune. Alpha's main business has been producing dies for general machinery applications and some plastic injection molds. The 6-year-old firm is ISO 9001-2000 registered.
``They have the basic skills for rotational molds,'' Mehra said.
The partnership will focus on markets in India, but it could branch into other countries in the long term.
Mehra heads the relatively new South Asia Region Division of the Association of Rotational Molders International, based in Oak Brook, Ill. Membership in the division grew to about 60 Indian companies following ARM conferences held in Delhi and Mumbai last December.
Mehra said India's rotomolders typically make lower-technology products such as water tanks. ARM conferences will help the industry evolve to more complex components, he said.
Norstar International is a subsidiary of Norstar Aluminum Molds Inc. of Cedarburg.
Innovene, Delta form 50-50 joint venture
CHICAGO - Innovene, the polyolefin and olefin arm of British Petroleum plc, is planning a major investment in Saudi Arabia through a partnership with regional oil developer Delta International.
The two firms have formed a 50-50 joint venture that hopes to build a $2 billion petrochemical plant that would open in late 2008. Sites near Jubail, Saudi Arabia, are being explored, officials with both companies said in a news release.
No details of the proposed plant were available. The project was announced even as London-based BP pursues plans to sell Innovene or spin it off in an initial public offering in the second half of 2005. BP announced its intent to sell the olefins and derivatives segment of its petrochemicals business - which became Innovene - in April 2004, citing the unit's low growth rates and profitability.
In April, Innovene opened a world headquarters in Chicago. The business also operates executive offices in League City, Texas; Staines, England; and Shanghai, China.
Innovene has annual sales of about $15 billion and employs more than 8,500 at 26 sites worldwide. In North America, BP makes polypropylene at plants in Alvin and Deer Park, Texas, and Carson, Calif. BP's North American high density polyethylene works are in Deer Park and Cedar Bayou, Texas. The unit also produces solid and expanded polystyrene, and plastics feedstocks propylene, ethylene, butadiene and benzene.
Delta - based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - has developed oil fields and other projects in the Caspian Sea region and other parts of central Asia and the Middle East. The firm, founded in 1978 by Badr Al-Aiban, is working on projects in northern and western Africa.
Innovene recently opened a major petrochemicals plant in Shanghai through a partnership with Chinese national oil firm Sinopec and Shanghai Petrochemical Corp. Innovene describes that plant, operating as Secco, as ``the largest petrochemical complex in China to date.''
The Shanghai plant has annual capacity of 1.3 billion pounds of PE, 550 million pounds of PP, 660 million pounds of PS and more than 5 billion pounds of feedstocks.
BP owns 50 percent of the plant, which cost $2.7 billion.