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Posted by Staff
May 9, 2023
2 Min Read
Image courtesy of CommNow
Chinese compounding giant Kingfa is upbeat on the prospects for plastic compounds with recycled content: By 2025 it aims to have in place one million tonnes/year of capacity in China and overseas for processing post-consumer recycled (PCR) resins. Key consumers of these materials include the automotive and appliance sectors.
Network of more than 500 recyclers across China
The company’s 2.46 million tonnes of compounds shipped in 2021 incorporated 182,000 tonnes of PCR material, including PP, PE, ABS, and PC compounds for appliance, automotive, and packaging applications, with PCR production capacity already pegged at 400,000 tonnes/year. To serve this capacity with high-quality feedstock, Kingfa has established a network of 500-plus recyclers across China.
Kingfa is also working toward expansion of base resin capacities by starting up new polymerization plants for ABS (300,000 tonnes/year) and polypropylene (300,000 tonnes/year) this year, on top of 180,000 tonnes/year of new bioplastics capacity. An additional 400,000 tonnes/year of PP polymerization capacity is slated for startup in 2025, when overall PP resin capacity will have reached 1.2 million tonnes/year.
Kingfa world’s largest plastics compounder
With compounding capacity exceeding 2.5 million tonnes/year positioning the company as the largest plastics compounder globally, Kingfa has traditionally maintained a strong presence in the automotive sector; new capacity in compounding plants in Vietnam and Poland will augment its global supply chain for automotive as well as support other key industries such as electrical & electronics and appliances. Capacity doublings are also on the cards for Kingfa’s Indian and Malaysian compounding assets.
NEV compound sales double
Sales into auto applications increased by 15% in 2022, of which compound sales for new energy vehicles (NEVs) were up 100%. Kingfa estimates that upwards of 40 kg of its plastic compounds are used in the typical Chinese NEV compared with 30 kg for an internal combustion engine (ICE) car. Kingfa also offers a variety of PP, ABS, PC, and PC/ABS grades with recycled content of 30% to 50% for automotive applications.
In automotive and other applications, “the hidden risk factors of PCR must also be addressed,” said Dennis Wang, Kingfa’s Global Director of Auto Materials, at Chinaplas 2023. “These include wide molecular weight distribution, metal ion residues, and reactive hydroxyl groups. Technologies such as metal passivation and end-capping can be employed to resolve these issues.” Wang estimates that the three major European auto brands and three major OEMs in Japan will require about 400,000 tonnes of PCR annually by 2025.
Kingfa has also established polymerization capacity for several advanced engineering plastics including partially bio-based polyamide (20,000 tonnes/year), LCP (6,000 tonnes/year), and PPSU/PES (800 tonnes/year), together with 40,000 tonnes/year of associated compounding capacity. With this portfolio, the company can supply compounds spanning the gamut of performance requirements.
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