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The largest dedicated global supplier of light stabilizers, UniteChem is beefing up its North American presence.

Stephen Moore

November 8, 2022

2 Min Read
UniteChem facility in China
Image courtesy of UniteChem

China’s UniteChem Group is entering the US market for light stabilizers through the establishment of an office and warehouse in Savannah, GA, as well as a regional headquarters in New Jersey, by the end of 2022. The company is further undertaking a major expansion of hindered amine light stabilizers (HALS) and UV absorbers in China, boosting overall capacity from around 40,000 tonnes/year by 16,000 and 15,000 tons, respectively. It also plans to diversify output by adding 20,000 tonnes/year of key performance additives, including flame retardants, anti-oxidants, and nucleating agents, by 2024.

“We are more focused on the compounder and masterbatch manufacturer,” said UniteChem Europe Director Jan Kreibaum. “And by 2024 we will be the world’s largest supplier of light stabilizers with a local presence in the United States.”

US strategy modeled after European approach


UniteChem Europe Director Jan Kreibaum at K 2022.

UniteChem plans to replicate its strategy in Europe, where it has been active since 2020. “We work with Leschaco, a specialty chemicals supplier with a warehouse in Antwerp, Belgium, and we plan to 'copy and paste' that European format [onto] the US [project],” said Kreibaum. A second European warehouse in Italy is in the planning stage and will complement the existing logistics hub at Antwerp. In order to secure funding for these and future investments, the group has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) at the Shanghai Main Stock Exchange. It expects to become officially listed by the end of 2022.

“Our strengths are backward integration to raw materials and economy of scale, so we expect to bring a cost advantage to the market,” added Kreibaum. Echoes Junyi Lin, CEO of UniteChem Group: “We are the world’s only producer of light stabilizers with a completely back-integrated value chain, which helps us weather raw material supply fluctuations and keep offering our products at competitive prices to support our customers’ businesses.”

New additives showcased at K 2022

UniteChem Group showcased various new performance additives at the recent K show in Düsseldorf, Germany, spearheaded by its recently commercialized HALS LS-2020 for polyolefin films and other polymer materials and HALS LS-119, mainly for agricultural, greenhouse, and engineering polymer applications in automotive. Other items in the portfolio include LS-4050, a low-molecular-weight HALS that will be officially launched in 2023 for thick-wall items, as well as several halogen-free bis-diphenyl phosphate (BDP) and piperazine pyrophosphate (PAPP) flame retardants for demanding applications, such as multi-fiber push on (MPO) connectors, and two high-heat polyamide (PA) stabilizers for automotive parts and fibers.

At K 2022, UniteChem also shared a first glimpse of new chemistries in the pipeline, such as a N-OR (non-basic amino) HALS product to meet demands of the important European agricultural films industry, and various nucleating agents for polypropylene and polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, engineering polyester, and polylactic acid formulations.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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