Clariant Starts Building Masterbatch Plant in Saudi Arabia
Construction work has started in Saudi Arabia on a new masterbatch plant for Swiss specialty chemicals producer Clariant. The facility in Yanbu will focus on the production of white masterbatches with completion expected by 2017.
The site belongs to Clariant Masterbatches Saudi Arabia, a joint venture with Tasnee subsidiary Rowad National Plastic Company.
Head of Clariant’s masterbatches business unit, Marco Cenisio, said the plant was the logical next step in its partnership with Rowad. “It will allow us to offer a broader product portfolio to customers in the Kingdom and in the Middle East/Africa region,” he said.
Ossamah Elshebany, Rowad National Plastic’s general manager, added that the additional capacity would be important in extending its market share in the region’s downstream plastics industry.
Clariant said the project was one of the most important investments for its masterbatch business in recent years. The site is the second manufacturing hub for Clariant Masterbatches in Saudi Arabia, adding to one in Riyadh.
Separately, Clariant has introduced a new liquid additive masterbatch that minimizes the yellowing and greying of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polymers caused by adding post-consumer recycled resin (PCR).
The optical brightening products are part of the HiFormer range and can be used in various PET grades including injection-blow molding, injection molding and extrusion. The additive has also gained approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for food contact applications.
Peter Prusak, head of marketing at Clariant Masterbatches North America, explained that packagers are under pressure to use more PCR in their products but the recyclate can reduce or discolour PET’s crystal clarity. He said the new HiFormer PET-enhancing additives open up new opportunities for more sustainable packaging.