09 May 2003 15:44 [Source: ICIS news]LONDON (CNI)--Swiss specialty chemicals firm Ciba and Saudi Arabian masterbatch producer Astra Polymers announced Friday a joint project in Saudi Arabia to produce customer specific additive pre-blends for the Middle East polymers industry.
A dedicated manufacturing facility is being built as an extension to Astra Polymers plant in Damman for the project. Due onstream at the end of this year, the plant will have a capacity of over 5000 tonne/year.
A Ciba spokeswoman told CNI both firms will share the investment cost of the project. No joint venture has been set up and the financial details were not revealed.
She was unable to say whether it is Ciba's first such manufacturing partnership deal in Saudi Arabia but confirmed that it was the first with Astra.
Astra Polymers will be responsible for all manufacturing processes while Ciba will be responsible for the technology, technical support and sale of customer specific blends to the polymer industry.
The Swiss firm said it will work closely with regional customers to develop tailored blends that satisfy both their stabilisation and additive handling requirements.
The blends are multi-component packages that combine stabilisers and other additives used by polymer manufacturers into single, easy-to-handle blends. They simplify the incorporation process and improve worker hygiene and resin quality, said Ciba.
Germano Peverelli, regional vice president of the plastic additives segment at Ciba, outlined the benefits of the cooperation: "The alliance with Astra Polymers will further strengthen Ciba's presence in the Middle East. With the introduction and local production of customer specific blends, Ciba will be able to better support the polymer industry in this strategically important and fast growing market."
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