Leading polyolefin compounder Washington Penn Plastic Company (WPP) has reached an agreement with ExxonMobil Chemical (EMC) to purchase and license assets of EMC’s North American specialty compounded PP business.
The move followed EMC’s earlier announcement to cease production of these products at its Specialty Compounding Center in Baton Rouge, La. The 88-million lb/yr plant went into operation in 2008. Noting that the agreement will facilitate the transition of the impacted customers to Washington Penn, Martin Devine, president of WPP and COO of parent company Audia International says, “The product technologies are very complimentary, and offer some exciting new opportunities for our customers.”
This marks the second specialty PP compounding business changing hands this year. Last month, Ferro Corp. announced that it was selling its business of PP compounds and alloys/blends to A. Schulman. Both acquisitions are expected to be completed before year’s end.
Meanwhile, “The Global Market for PP Compounds”, a study from U.K.’ AMI Consulting released just last month, is interestingly timed in view of the rate of structural change in the industry. AMI consultants cite the sale of these two North American specialty PP compounding businesses and also the fast change occurring in the Chinese market where the level of investment is running at high levels. This study segments the markets into NAFTA, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Middle East/Africa, by product family and by application. Within the automotive segment--the largest market for PP compounds, applications are split into interiors, exteriors and underhood. The 140-page report also shows the current global growth trends for PP compounds, with Asia leading at 45%, Europe with 30% and the Americas with 25%.
The Global Market for PP Compounds
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