Maxima produces about 300 tonne/month rigid polyurethane insulation, which is a relatively expensive product to transport because of its high volume and low density. However, the company is planning to build on its growing local base, and start to export rigid boardstock to the US market, according to its president, Alfonso Garza. “We are planning to export a little bit to the United States. We have already started,” he said.
The Mexican market for polyurethane insulation products is strong and resilient, added Alfonso Roel, a member of the Maxima’s management team. “There is nothing that makes us think it will slow down,” Roel said. “We are confident that there will be growth in the national PU market. We think the rigid segment will grow at 15% at least this year.”
“Companies are expanding their operations into other geographical areas such as Europe and Asia. We have seen growth in Latin America. Our customers export.
Garza added that the company is in a position to export to the US because of raw materials at “very good prices from China and other places”.
While Mexico’s export and automotive sectors may be world class, driven by international companies’ product specifications, local products can be a different matter, claimed Steve Hoong, general manager of Singapore’s RIM Polymer Industries.
“In China, they are energy conscious and environmentally conscious,” Hoong said. “Here they are using technology that is not environmentally friendly. If I look at China and the Far East, Mexico is behind.”
Hoong suggested that the key to change is “innovation, research and development that looks into the formulations of rigid foam to see how they can have a combination of different blowing agents to improve the insulation factor in order to achieve energy savings”.
Fabrizio Brambilla, OMS’s Milan-based area manager, sums up the view of many of the