Climate protection, circular economy and digitalisation are key trends in the plastics industry and these were reflected at K 2022, according to Irfaan Foster, Market Development Director - Polymer Solutions, Compounding & Polyurethanes of SI Group: “In the world of performance additives as it relates to SI Group, we expect the major focus for our customers will be on sustainability which encompasses the circular economy and climate protection themes. Developing a sustainable society is critical for all stakeholders and the plastics industry has an important role to play.”
The plastics industry has a tremendous opportunity to employ its talent and creativity to develop innovative and more sustainable solutions that benefit society. As Mr. Foster explains: “Our customers are increasingly looking to upgrade the value of recycled plastics so that they can be used in more valuable applications. Also, to comply with consumer demand and changing legislation, there is a drive to increase the content of recycled plastics in goods. Additives will play an important role to increase the productivity of recycling processes, enhance the quality of the recycled plastics so that they can be used in more valuable applications, and increase the recycled content without compromising the end-article durability.” The SI Group has offered its first set of solutions in the new platform and their benefits to boost recycling of polyolefins and PET.
Mr. Irfaan Foster, Market Development Director - Polymer
Solutions, Compounding & Polyurethanes, SI Group
Another major industry theme, according to Mr. Foster, is the development of more renewable solutions. Raw material producers, additive manufacturers, and polymer producers are investing significant resources and technology to develop and scale-up bio-based solutions. SI Group has recently launched two ELAZTOBOND™ resins which are based on bio-renewable feedstocks. The SI Group also showed its customers not only the greater sustainability, but also the enhanced adhesion performance in both pressure sensitive and conventional ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) hot melt adhesives.
When asked on the future directions of the SI Group, Mr. Foster explains: “SI Group’s vision is to be the global performance additives powerhouse. Our mission is to innovate and drive change to create value with a passion for safety, chemistry, sustainability, and extraordinary results. Our top priority is the safety of our employees and the communities where we operate. We are passionate about chemistry, and we continue to invest in Research & Development to develop new solutions that are more sustainable and provide greater value for our customers.”
Sustainability is at the heart of the SI Group’s innovation. “Given the urgency for society to move to a circular model, we are investing our innovation resources to develop additive solutions to accelerate the transition to a circular economy to minimise waste,” Mr. Foster stressed.
SI Group has a rich heritage of manufacturing excellence, and it plans to continue to deliver on its journey to captivate its customers through expanding its capabilities and global reach, providing new innovations and technologies that create value, and delivering quality products with superior performance.
As demand grows for additives, SI Group is consistently looking for opportunities to further expand our capabilities and support our customer’s needs. “Next year we plan to complete our investment across three manufacturing sites in North America to install globally competitive main antioxidant capacity to increase supply for this critically important and growing market segment. With SI Group’s current extensive antioxidant manufacturing footprint in the U.S. and backward integration, this planned expansion will increase security of supply by offering a fully integrated portfolio of phenolic antioxidants in the U.S. These performance additives are broadly used in growth segments such as food packaging, automotive, construction, adhesives, and other applications,” according to Mr. Foster.
SI Group also recognises the importance of the Asian market to its business and has recently announced many expansions in the region. There are a few major investments undertaken by the SI Group in Asia. One is the ETHANOX™ 4757 aminic antioxidant at the Group’s Rasal, India facility. ETHANOX™ 4757 is an octylated-butylated diphenylamine primary antioxidant used in lubricants, greases, industrial, automotive and heat transfer fluids. Commercial materials are anticipated to be available in the fourth quarter of 2022 and will add several thousand tonnes of availability of this critical chemistry. Another investment is for the production of ETHANOX™ 4716 and NAUGARD™ PS48 hindered phenolic ester antioxidants in the Jinshan, China facility, which was announced earlier this year. The capacity expansion will help address the growing demand for antioxidants in the lubricants and plastics industries in Asia Pacific and further strengthens SI Group’s position as a key partner to its customers. A capacity expansion for ULTRANOX™ 626 phosphite antioxidant in Jinshan, China has also been implemented in 2022. This high performance phosphite is used for demanding technical polyolefin applications, such as packaging, pipe and automotive. SI Group is also set to increase by 75% its tackifier resin capacity at Lote, India. The expansion will propel the site to become a regional hub for best-in-class tackifier resin production and technology. The investment addresses an increasing demand for Novolac tackifiers in one of the Group’s core regions.
- For the complete Outlook 2023 Special Report, read the International Plastics News for Asia December 2022 issue, click here.
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