GUANGZHOU, CHINA — Colloids Ltd., the British masterbatch producer, has opened its first manufacturing plant in China and will be attending its first Chinaplas this week in Guangzhou.
The plant, Colloids' third and its first outside of the United Kingdom, is located in Changshu outside of Shanghai, and started operations in late 2014 with an initial investment of $6 million. The plant is about 40,000 square feet (3,700 square meters) in size, with an initial capacity of 3,500 metric tons per year.
The plant will ramp up to 6,000 tonnes annually, and has space for future expansion.
Russell Livesey, managing director/CEO of Colloids, stated: “Setting up a masterbatch manufacturing plant in Changshu, China, is an exciting and positive development in the history of Colloids. This is part of our ongoing strategy to grow Colloids' masterbatch presence in Asia, offering our customers the benefit of our products being produced and supplied locally, and further enhancing our global capabilities.”
Kevin Hayes, general manager of the Changshu site, said in a phone interview with Plastics News that the Changshu plant is going well.
“Having worked in the South of China for over 10 years, I am impressed with the professionalism of the Jiangsu people,” he said. “It's been five months since commissioning of the first line and after qualification of our process and products we are now producing commercially sellable masterbatch. Within the next 12 months we are expecting to reach full capacity for our first black masterbatch line,” he said.
The plant is now beginning its second phase of expansion as it installs two new color production lines to serve the color market in China.
“We are also investing extensively in our laboratory equipment, not only to provide quality assurance but also for analytical support to our customers,” Hayes added.
The company's first time participating in Chinaplas is part of its strategy to increase its Chinese customer base.
“We are not only here to support our global … customers, but are actively looking to expand in to the domestic [Chinese] market,” Hayes said. “We're looking forward to meeting new people and building new partnerships.”
The company's product range of black, white and colored masterbatch lines targets plastic processing sectors in the automotive, electrical, appliance and consumables industries.
China is an important developing market for Knowsley, England-based Colloids, Hayes said.
“China has the largest automotive market in the world and we are seeing more and more metal parts being replaced by plastic,” he said. “Jiangsu has more than 50 percent of China's automotive parts industry, so as you can see we're right in the heart of it.”
Colloids is part of the Tosaf Group, a supplier of masterbatch and concentrates with 10 factories and 800 employees worldwide.