Borouge, the Middle Eastern-Austrian plastics and chemicals joint venture, aimed to put a local face on its China operations at Chinaplas 2011, touting what it called an “all-new, all-Chinese management team,” while also providing updates on several previously announced projects.
To underscore its emphasis on the Chinese market, officials pointed to China's status last year as the world's largest user of polyolefins, with more than 66 million pounds of polypropylene and polyolefins consumed.
Andy Liu, Borouge Pte. Ltd.'s regional general manager for north Asia, has held that post in Shanghai since January 2010. And Beijing-based Hang Biao also assumed his role as regional sales manager for the company's north Asia pipe business unit in 2010. But at a news conference conducted in Chinese, the firm also introduced newer hires Michael Wang as general sales manager for the mobility business unit, and Kenny Chen as general sales manager for the film and molding business unit in north Asia. Both Wang and Chen are based in Shanghai. The company also noted how it has grown to 231 employees in China, from 32, in just the past three years.
Most of the media event at Chinaplas, held May 17-20 in Guangzhou, was devoted to recapping continuing initiatives, including:
* The recent startup of a new Shanghai polyolefins compounding plant.
* Plans to open a second such plant, with 231 million pounds of capacity, in Guangzhou next year.
* Continued progress of the so-called “Borouge 3” project in the town of Ruwais, near Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirites, which will add 5.5 million pounds of capacity by mid-2014 to existing capacity of 9.92 million pounds of PP, PE and low density PE resins.
* Opening of a $70 million, 50-person innovation center in Abu Dhabi by year's end.
William Yau, CEO of Borouge Pte. Ltd., the firm's Singapore-based marketing company, said in an interview that the company has begun recruiting scientists and engineers for the new UAE center. Construction will begin midyear, Yau added.
Borouge also promoted a number of materials at Chinaplas, including its BorECO BA212E high-modulus, block copolymer PP compound used to produce spiral-wound, non-pressure pipes for industrial sea intakes, outfalls and large-diameter sewer systems in Europe and the Middle East. A centerpiece of Borouge's Chinaplas booth was a cross-section of the nearly 10-foot-wide PP pipeline being made by Union Pipe Industries in Abu Dhabi for a local refinery project. Borouge claims it is the first of its kind made in the Middle East.
Borouge also touted materials targeting the automotive sector (elastomer-modified PP compounds aimed at lightweighting body panels), the rigid packaging sector (a high-flow PP random copolymer said to boost processing productivity), and geomembranes (a new PE grade made using the Borouge's proprietary Borstar technology).