By Steve Toloken, Plastics News Correspondent
Ulsan, South Korea-Plastics additives makers Clariant International AG and Songwon Industrial Co. Ltd have ended their partnership in the antioxidants market, with each company deciding to make separate investments in Asian production.
Songwon said 22 Sept that it will make phenolic and phosphite antioxidants at a new plant near its headquarters in Ulsan, starting next year, and said it will immediately start selling other products, including light stabilisers and absorbers, directly into the global market.
Songwon chairman and chief executive officer Kyung-Jae Park suggested his company no longer sees a need to partner with Clariant.
"We have decided it is vital and strategically necessary to be present directly in the global markets and to modify our business models accordingly," he said. "In spite of a long and successful relationship with Clariant, the two companies have agreed not to renew the existing distributorship agreement after the natural expiration date."
As well as making many polymer antidegradants, Songwon started making poyurethane elastomer for synthetic leather in the mid-1970s, and also offers polyester diols for PU resins, and PU systems for shoe soles.
Clariant, based in Muttenz, Switzerland, said it will distribute antioxidants made by Songwon until 31 Jan 2008.
Songwon is spending $120 million on its new plant, which will have annual capacity of 121 million pounds (55 kilotonnes), a 60-percent increase over current capacity.
Clariant said in a 21 Sept statement that it is building an antioxidant production facility in Asia with an undisclosed group of Asian industrialists. It did not provide more information.
Pic: Songwon's current plant in Ulsan, South Korea.