Düsseldorf, Germany — Materials firm Clariant is hearing a symphony at K 2019.
The Muttenz, Switzerland-based company has unveiled its Symphony of Collaboration theme to tackle plastics waste. Officials said that while plastic has been described as "the success story of the 20th century," its sustainability is increasingly under the spotlight.
At an Oct. 17 press event, additives business head Stephan Lynen emphasized several new products that are designed to improve plastics recycling and use of recyclate material. For example, a new grade of Exolit-brand flame retardant is halogen-free and can be recycled with products made from nylon 6 and 6/6 resins.
An AddWorks-brand PKG Circle additive can allow as much as 30 percent recycled content in polypropylene and polyethylene films, Lynen said. Licolub-brand H12 lubricants can be added to recycled polymers to improve mold release performance with post-consumer electronic waste, he added.
"Our customers have been asking us for more products for recycling, especially in the last two years," Lynen said.
On the production side, Clariant's additives unit opened two new plants in China last year and will open another one there later this year or in early 2020. The firm is also working with Finnish oil refiner Neste Oyj on renewable additive solutions.
Chief Operating Officer Hans Bohnen said that although Clariant is focused on sustainability, it's also important that the firm "grow the business and maintain profitability." The firm's first-half sales grew 4 percent globally, but EBITDA declined two percent.
Clariant is also looking to sell its masterbatches business by the end of 2020. Bohnen said that there are "multiple parties" interested in the business. But he declined to confirm recent media reports that materials firm PolyOne Corp. has bid $1.5 billion for the business.
Earlier this year, Clariant postponed plans to merge its additive and masterbatch business with part of Saudi Basic Industries Corp.'s engineering resins business. Sabic had acquired a stake of almost 25 percent in Clariant in September 2018.
The companies said July 25 that plans for a new joint venture have been shelved due to "current market conditions," to be picked up at a later stage with a different scope. Clariant and Sabic had signed a memorandum of understanding in September to create a leading supplier of high-performance materials, with potential annual sales of 3.5 billion euros ($3.9 billion).
Clariant Chief Financial Officer Patrick Jany told analysts July 25 that Clariant will now sell its entire masterbatch business instead of including it in a joint venture with Sabic.