NPE ’12: Major US and international resins firms return in strength

01 April 2012 23:46  [Source: ICIS news]

ORLANDO, Florida (ICIS)--Major US and international resins producers have returned in strength to the international NPE plastics conference and exhibition, a top event official said on Sunday, representing a 50% improvement from the previous NPE show in 2009.

Gene Sanders, senior vice president at the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) and general manager for NPE, noted that many resins producers who were at the 2009 event also have returned, including Lyondell and Dow.

“But for the first time since our 1985 NPE, we’re seeing the return of such majors as Westlake, Exxon and Formosa – and the first participation by Braskem”, the Brazilian resins giant.

Other producers exhibiting on the show floor or hosting customer service centres include BASF, DuPont and PolyOne, he said.

The 27th triennial National Plastics Exhibition (NPE) will mark its 66th year in operation as the sponsoring organisation, SPI, marks its 75th anniversary.

The last NPE event, held in Chicago, Illinois, in 2009, saw reduced participation by both resins manufacturers and producers of plastics applications machinery as the 2008-2009 US recession took its toll.

The recession officially ended in June 2009, but the US economy’s recovery since then has been modest at best.

The 2012 NPE also is the first to be held since US shale gas production has emerged as a major cost-savings feedstock factor for domestic resins manufacturers and their downstream applications customers.

Sanders said that moving the NPE programme from Chicago to Orlando enabled cost savings for many exhibitors and participants who otherwise might not have attended. The event had been held in Chicago for the previous 40 years.

He said the Orlando site also helped boost attendance from Latin American countries, noting that the first participation by Braskem was part of that growth.

More than half of the non-US companies participating in this year’s NPE are from Latin America, he said.

The conference began on Sunday and runs through Thursday, 5 April.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Joe Kamalick
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