EPCA '12: Songwon to build US, Mideast polymer additives plants

08 October 2012 04:23  [Source: ICIS news]

By Tahir Ikram

OPS photo from Songwon Industrial Co LtdBUDAPEST (ICIS)--South Korea’s Songwon Industrial group is planning to build new polymer additives plants in the US and the Middle East, along with its joint venture partners, a company executive said on Sunday.

The US plant will be completed by the first quarter of next year, while the other proposed plant in the Middle East will be started up by the fourth quarter of 2013, Songwon chief operating officer Maurizio Butti told ICIS in an interview.

The plants will each have an average capacity of 7,500 tonne/year, Butti said at the sidelines of the 46th European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting.

Depending on the specifications of the additives, production at the plants can either exceed or fall below the average capacity, Butti said.

The plants will produce dust-free polymer additive packages, known as one-pack systems (OPS).

A joint venture firm called Songwon Additive Technologies was formed under a memorandum of understanding signed between Songwon and its Middle East partners – Pan Gulf Holding of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi-based Polysys Industries, Butti said.

In the US, work has started in Houston, where machinery will be fitted in an empty warehouse. In the Middle East, however, Songwon has yet to decide on which country the new polymer additives plant would be built, the Songwon executive said.

Bahrain was initially being considered.

The South Korean company is pursuing expansion in spite of the slowdown in the global economy.

“We are growing despite the economic situation, which everyone says is bad. We really do not see a decrease in demand,” Butti said.

“We had a very good year in 2012, both in terms of sale and in terms of profitability,” Butti said but declined to provide precise figures citing regulatory requirements.

As part of its growth plan, the company has just signed a long-term distribution agreement with Italian chemical company Sabo for the sale of its products, he said.

The distribution agreement came into effect on 1 September 2012 and covers all regions outside of Europe, he added.

The annual EPCA meeting runs from 6-10 October.

($1 = €0.77)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections
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By: Tahir Ikram
+65 6780 4359

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