RTP Brazilian unit targets S. America
WINONA, MINN. Engineering resins compounder RTP Co. has entered the South American market with a sales office and warehouse in Brazil.
The location in Alphaville, near São Paulo, will provide sales support and distribution for Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, officials with Winona-based RTP said in a Sept. 8 news release.
The booming economy in Brazil is in need of more sophisticated plastic compounds to respond to increased demand for domestically produced products from the automotive, consumer goods and energy markets, said RTP sales director Jean Sirois.
Joao Fernando Campos Pinheiro will serve as sales director of the unit, which will operate as RTP Co. do Brasil.
Schulman reorganizes European operations
FAIRLAWN, OHIO A. Schulman Inc. is moving part of its Crumlin, Wales, operation to two larger plants in Europe.
Several production lines at the 74,000-square-foot Crumlin plant will be shut down and about 30 jobs cut. About 22 million pounds of masterbatch production will be moved from Crumlin to more cost-efficient, higher-capacity lines in Bornem, Belgium, and Givet, France. In Crumlin, Schulman will focus on smaller lots of colors and other specialty compounds for the local market, where it recently invested about $1.2 million in a versatile continuous mixer.
The Fairlawn-based compounder and distributor expects those moves to result in a $600,000 restructuring cost.
Schulman also announced personnel moves in Europe related to the integration of its ICO Inc. acquisition. Robert Stanworth, who heads Schulman's U.K. operations, will be responsible for the ICO Polymers plant in Gainsborough, England. Heinrich Lingnau, unit leader for ICO Polymers in Europe, will manage three ICO production sites in France as well as Schulman's operations there.
Kraton renews plans for HSBC plant in Asia
HOUSTON Strong demand has prompted Kraton Performance Polymers Inc. to reassess previously shelved plans to build a hydrogenated styrenic block copolymer plant in Asia.
Houston-based Kraton was developing plans to build a wholly owned HSBC plant in Asia three years ago, but pulled back when the recession hit.
A site for the 66 million-pound-per-year plant is expected by December, followed by cost-assessment early next year and board approval soon after. Construction is likely to begin in the first half of 2012, with startup as early as the second half of 2013, the company said in a news release.
Kraton has built a strong presence in Asia, and such an investment would represent the next step to grow our position in the region, said President and CEO Kevin Fogarty.
Kraton's China staff has more than doubled since 2006, and its new, expanded Shanghai office launched in May includes a multifunctional customer service center and a training facility.
New Hydrite venture to make epoxy resin
COTTAGE GROVE, WIS. Hydrite Chemical Co. and Polymers 2000 Ltd. have combined to create Hydrite Advanced Resins LLC, a new maker of epoxy resins based in Cottage Grove.
Hydrite Chemical will produce liquid epoxy resins for HAR in two 12,500-gallon reactors at its plant in Cottage Grove. The firm has built a separate 9,000-square-foot building there to house the equipment, officials said in an Aug. 26 news release. The expanded site includes bulk storage of epichlorohydrin feedstocks.
One of the primary reasons for this effort is the need for a domestic manufacturer of high-performance epoxy resins, they said.
The site will produce basic epoxy resins at first and more specialty materials within a year or two, HAR Vice President John Winter said Sept. 3 by phone. Currently, most specialty epoxies used in North America are imported from Asia, Winter said.
HAR's products can be used in composite materials for decking, wind turbines and aerospace parts. The firm expects to post annual sales of between $5 million and $10 million.
Hydrite is a diversified chemical firm with sales of $400 million. Polymers 2000 is a technology investment firm in Cleveland.
DuPont-Sinopec JV starts EVA production
WILMINGTON, DEL. DuPont Co. and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec, have started production at their joint venture ethylene vinyl acetate plant in Beijing, the parties said Aug. 30.
The plant will be Wilmington-based DuPont's first EVA production in China, which the firm said is the world's fastest-growing EVA market.
The venture will use technology from DuPont's Packaging and Industrial Polymers unit, and is designed to provide more local support to customers there entering higher-value applications, DuPont said in a statement.
Beijing Hua Mei Polymer Co. Ltd. is 55 percent owned by Beijing-based Sinopec and 45 percent by DuPont, and will have annual capacity of about 132 million pounds, according to the firms.