By Kate Tilley, correspondent
Sydney, Australia - Era Polymers Pty. Ltd is growing its US presence by focusing on polyurethane products for mining-industry applications, the company said.
Alex Papamanuel, Era sales director, said the company has focused on growing its international presence in the last few years and exports to more than 70 countries. It has stock warehouses in all Australian capital cities, Malaysia, Shanghai, Dubai, Belgium, Canada, and California and Illinois, in the U.S., he said.
Papamanuel said Era's focus in the US is supplying high-performance PU elastomers for high-wear applications, particularly for the mining industry.
He said Era's products are "well received" and have a "good track record" in the US because Australia is known for its expertise as a mining country.
Era has exported directly to several U.S. companies for at least 10 years, but its U.S. focus "took off" in September 2011 when it formed a relationship with chemicals e-distributor ChemPoint.com, which is a subsidiary of a global chemical distributor Univar Inc. of Redmond, Washington.
Papamanuel said Era, unlike other Australian manufacturers, has not seen a downturn in Australia's PU foam market. He attributes Era's market growth to focusing on new opportunities in the building and liquefied natural gas industries.
Era bought two Australian PU manufacturers this year, but Papamanuel said no more acquisitions are planned in the immediate future and two is "enough for now."
Papamanuel said Ariel's transition to ownership by Era is a "strategic positive" because it gives Era a manufacturing facility in Melbourne.
He said the acquisitions are "opportunities that presented themselves" and Era was able to take advantage of them. He would not disclose acquisition costs.Era makes polyurethane materials including rigid and flexible foams; cast elastomer prepolymers; binders that bind reconstituted rubber to make sports surfaces, playgrounds and pavers; and coatings for timber floors.
Era now has two manufacturing sites in Sydney, and one each in Melbourne and Auckland, New Zealand. It has sales offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Auckland and Singapore; and research and development laboratories in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.