EPCA ’11: Poland’s PCC Rokita eyes 50% natural oil in foams by '13

02 October 2011 17:10  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS)--PCC Rokita plans to expand their range of polyols including natural oil polyols and to achieve over 50% natural oil content in mattress foams by 2013 to minimise CO2 foorprint, a company source said on Sunday.

PCC Rokita’s main rationale for moving towards natural oil content was the environmental benefit of substituting some synthetic polyols in blends and thereby, minimising the CO2 footprint, the source said on the sidelines of the 45th European Petrochemical Association at Berlin.

It will also help to distinguish the company from other “conventional synthetic” players in the market, which was important in an uncertain economic climate, when competition is stronger than normal, the source added.

The company source said it is still considering its options regarding production and technology usage.

“Price is also a big issue,” the source said especially during economic uncertainty but added the company would aim to offer “a cost-neutral price” with its synthetic counterparts.

Natural oil prices such as palm oil are “attractive”, in view of price drops in last few months, but the company is still weighing up the technology and production costs, the source said.

Natural oil polyols are not a new phenomenon in Europe, as Cargill among others have been involved in natural polyol usage in polyurethane production for the last few years.

However, PCC Rokita aims to further promote natural oil polyol usage, with a particular focus on higher natural oil content.

PCC Rokita existing polyol portfolio includes slabstock conventional flexible polyols and high resilience polyols both standard and specialities.

European synthetic s flexible polyols have been stable-to-slightly soft over the last few months, depending on the grade and this could continue in October, although settlements are still outstanding.

This stable-to-softer sentiment is a result of the underlying concerns about the general economy and the effects on demand.

Demand in main downstream bedding and furniture sectors has been below expectations for most of this year, caused by reduced consumer spending.

However, other players remain optimistic that prices could stabilise, as consumption continues to hold up relatively well, particularly in central and eastern Europe.

This is thought to be driven by export opportunities and investment in construction in eastern Europe, in view of the UEFA Football championship, which is due to take place in 2012.

European slabstock conventional polyol prices were assessed in September between €1,780-1,850/tonne ($2,373-2,467/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), down by €20/tonne from August.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Heidi Finch
+44 20 8652 3214

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