Singapore-based compounder R&P (Pte.) Ltd. and a Chinese partner announced July 19 that they plan to form a joint venture to manufacture and market thermoplastic polyolefins in China, focused on the auto industry in the Asia Pacific region.
R&P and Shanghai-based Hop Zenith Chemical Trading Co. Ltd. said a definitive agreement was still being negotiated but their joint venture would start with an installed capacity of 15,000 tons a year, with a target to increase to 50,000 tons within five years.
“With 70 percent of our current deliveries to global automotive OEMs in China, we look forward to having a production facility in China to strengthen the supply chain with our customers there,” said R&P Chairman YK Tan, in a statement. “China remains an attractive and important automotive market on a global scale.”
From 2008 to October 2014, R&P was a designated toll compounder for ExxonMobil Chemical Co.'s Exxtral grades of materials, and participated in new product development, the company said.
When ExxonMobil exited the TPO market in 2014, R&P said it licensed technology from the Houston-based materials manufacturer to provide specialty polypropylene-based TPO compounds under R&P's Sterlene brand name.
In December R&P named Hop Zenith its main distributor of its Sterlene products in China. Hop Zenith had been a distributor of ExxonMobil materials in China from 2011 to 2014.
R&P's license from ExxonMobil includes China, Japan, South Korea and India, along with the 10 nation Association for Southeast Asian Nations bloc and Oceania, the company said.