Sumitomo Chemical Co. is expanding its polypropylene compounding business, establishing a new subsidiary in Mexico and increasing production capacity in India.
In an Oct. 3 statement, the Japanese company said the move was part of its strategy to strengthen its PP business worldwide. Sumitomo Chemical said that the Mexico subsidiary—Sumika Polymers Mexico—was being set up “in light of rapidly growing automotive production and expecting strong demand for PP compounds in the years to come.”
The unit, based in Guadalajara, Mexico, is headed by Brian Weider and will sell Sumitomo’s polypropylene compounds and thermoplastic elastomers.
Sumitomo Chemical previously supplied the Mexican market through its U.S. subsidiary.
In India, Sumika Polymer Compounds India which was set up in 2013, has now increased production capacity. Citing “solid growth of demand” as the reason for expansion, Sumitomo Chemical said the added capacity came on stream in September 2016. Based in Chennai, India, the facility now manufactures and sells 5,000 metric tons of polypropylene compounds per year.
PP compounds are high-performance materials made by kneading synthetic rubber, glass fibers, and inorganic fillers into PP to improve parameters such as impact resistance.
In the automotive industry, the compounds are used in car bumpers and interiors.
Sumitomo Chemical has manufacturing sites in Japan, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia, with a global capacity of nearly 1.7 million tons per year.
The company set up an Automotive Materials Division in its Tokyo head office in July 2014, aiming to enhance its businesses associated with the automotive industry.