US Huntsman eyes in-house usage of epoxy resins to boost business

29 October 2013 16:42  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Huntsman plans to use its epoxy-resins production to supply its own needs, so it can focus on downstream formulations and systems and target fast growing segments in the market, the CEO said on Tuesday.

"We want to be in the business to supply ourselves," said Peter Huntsman, CEO. He made his statements during an earnings conference call.

In Asia, the company can buy epoxy resins cheaper than its production costs, he said. The company is currently evaluating whether that may be the case in North America.

The company wants to move to downstream applications of epoxy resins, where the company sees opportunities for growth and market expansion, he said. "We are actually getting out of the commodity side as much as we can."

Huntsman remains pessimistic about the outlook for the commodity side of the epoxy resins business.

"There is so much capacity in the market," he said. "That is why we are taking steps to rationalise our own capacity."

Already, the company has shut down plants in Spain and India, he said.

In all, the company has shut down about one-third of its total basic liquid epoxy resins (LER) business globally, said Kimo Esplin, Huntsman CEO.

Fellow epoxy resin producer Dow Chemical has also expressed pessimism about the commodity nature of epoxy resins. As such, Dow expects it will soon enter a joint venture or sell its epoxy resins business.

By: Al Greenwood
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