Latest News in the Plastics Industry

Sabic IP cuts output of engineering plastics

By Frank Esposito, posted 6 November 2008

Sabic Innovative Plastics is cutting production up to 20% at all of its engineering plastics production sites worldwide.

The move was effective from 5 November. In a news release, officials with US-based Sabic IP said the move was “a result of significantly softening resin demand caused by the global economic slowdown”.

The firm “will communicate further details as appropriate with suppliers and customers to optimize the supply chain and to minimize any disruption.” A company spokesman said no further details were available.

It was not clear from the release if any of Sabic IP’s 10,500 employees would be affected. It also could not be determined if there would be any impact to the firm’s structured products business, which includes downstream film and sheet production. That unit ranks among North America’s 30 largest film and sheet makers, with annual sales of around $275m, according to a Plastics News estimate.

In a May interview with Plastics News, Sabic IP president and ceo Charlie Crew said that the firm was “well positioned” in Asia, but he added that the automotive and building markets are “obvious challenges” for Sabic IP in North America.

Sabic IP ranks as one of the world’s largest producers of polycarbonate, ABS and other engineering resins. In North America, the firm makes PC and other specialty resins in Mount Vernon, PC in Burkville, and produces engineering resin compounds at sites in Selkirk, Thorndale, and Columbus.

Globally, Sabic IP’s manufacturing sites include Bergen-Op-Zoom, the Netherlands; Campinas, Brazil; Moka, Japan; Shanghai, Chian; and Rayong, Thailand.

Sabic IP was formed in August 2007 when petrochemicals firm Saudi Basic Industries of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, acquired the GE Plastics business of American conglomerate General Electric. GE Plastics had posted sales of almost $7bn in 2006.

* Frank Esposito is a senior staff reporter at Plastics News, sister publication of PRW.