Sumika Polymer Compounds Europe, a subsidiary of Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical, is opening a new production site in Poznan, Poland. For the compounder, who produces a wide range of thermoplastic polyolefin-based compounds and elastomers, the move is one that fits with both its growth and its sustainability strategy, the company said.
Sumika, a specialist in polypropylene compounds, has a strong presence in the white goods sector as well as in the automotive industry.
The new plant is being built in an area close to Sumika’s customers in Poland, Germany and Czech Republic, in a highly industrialised geographical area containing many manufacturers of automobiles and white goods appliances. This will enable the compounder to take full advantage of the rising demand for electric vehicles.
Seeking to reduce vehicle weight, carmakers are increasing their use of plastic in the new hybrid, PHEV and battery electric vehicles coming on the market. PP is widely used used in automotive applications such as bumpers, cable insulation, battery boxes, indoor and outdoor carpets, and carpet fibres.
Sumika is pursuing a growth path across Europe that, at the same time, helps meet the company’s ambition to reduce the carbon emission levels associated with its operations by delivering locally.
The company had long been established in France and in the UK, and, in 2019, acquired the Turkish PP compounder, Emaş, boosting its expertise in mineral and recycled PP. Through that deal, Sumika gained an additional three compounding lines and an immediate presence in Turkey and the areas around the Black Sea.
Sumika’s new production site in Poland will span some 5500 square meters, dedicated to compounded polypropylene manufacturing. It will add 30,000 tonnes of additional capacity for SPC Group and will increase its European production capacity to 170,000 tonnes per year.
As a first step, the company will be hiring about 30 new employees in Poland and setting up two compounding lines. This will be followed by the construction of the various silos for material storage and transfer. Production at the new site is slated for the first quarter of 2022.