17 October 2013 19:34 [Source: ICIS news]
(recasts, clarifying divestment product details in ninth paragraph)
DUSSELDORF, Germany (ICIS)--Styron is focusing its resources on compound and blended products used in four core consumer markets, including automotive, a company executive said on Thursday.
"We have a great position in [automotive] interiors already … and a strong position because of light weighting," said Martin Pugh, senior vice president and business president for plastics.
Pugh's vision is to expand into semi-structural parts and automotive exteriors.
He cited Styron's success with the first polypropylene (PP) non-metal tailgate, which can be found in the 2013 Renault Clio.
When questioned about demand expectations in the struggling automotive industry, Pugh said that with Styron's plans to develop its exterior and structural applications, "we will outgrow developments in those areas".
He added that growth in the Asian automotive industry will be massive.
Provided there is 3% growth globally and not much new capacity coming on line, styrene should tighten globally over the next two or three years, Pugh said.
"The spread between benzene and styrene will be higher than it has been historically," he said.
The European polystyrene (PS) industry is in better shape since INEOS and Total closed their European operations, and Styron recently divested its expandable polystyrene (EPS) business in Germany to Ravago.
The ever-changing landscape of consumer electronics, huge in Asia, presents Styron with an opportunity to include 50% recycled material contained in its polycarbonate (PC) products, Pugh said.
Electrical and lighting is another area that shows considerable promise for Styron. Plastics for housing of electrical charging stations and smart meters, particularly in Europe, tie in with the company's light weighting and aesthetics activities, according to Pugh.
Pugh also sees extremely good growth in single and multiple use devices in the medical field, as well as opportunities in sterilisation equipment. PC compound blends and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) from Styron are used in housing medical equipment, too.
"We have a tidy portfolio and an exciting future," Pugh surmised.
Styron had previously announced plans to change the name of all Styron affiliated companies to Trinseo. Styron companies that have not yet changed their names to Trinseo continue to do business as Styron until their respective name changes are complete.
Styron/Trinseo is a former Dow Chemical business that was launched in 2010 as a stand-alone company following its sale to a private equity firm.
Styron is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber.
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