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Sabic adds bimodal HDPE blowmolding grades to product portfolio

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) is entering the bimodal high density polyethylene (HDPE) market, with plans to start commercial production this year."Some processors are concerned about future supply of bimodal HDPE grades from Europe, so we think this is the right time for us to support the market by including bimodal HDPE blowmolding grades in Sabic's product portfolio," said Mario Scholle, business manager of bimodal HDPE at SABIC, in the news release.

PlasticsToday Staff

February 28, 2013

2 Min Read
Sabic adds bimodal HDPE blowmolding grades to product portfolio

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) is entering the bimodal high density polyethylene (HDPE) market, with plans to start commercial production this year.

"Some processors are concerned about future supply of bimodal HDPE grades from Europe, so we think this is the right time for us to support the market by including bimodal HDPE blowmolding grades in Sabic's product portfolio," said Mario Scholle, business manager of bimodal HDPE at SABIC, in the news release.

hdpe_bimodal.jpgSabic is preparing facilities at its plant in Gelsenkirchen, Germany for grades suitable for containers up to 5L, with a commercial production start date in the second quarter of this year. The same grades, as well as grades intended for jerry cans, drums and other large containers, will also be produced at one of the company's plants in Saudi Arabia, with an estimated production start up date in the third quarter of 2013.

"We already have a strong line-up of unimodal HDPE grades, and we have now decided to take advantage of our strong position in process technology and catalysts to introduce bimodal HDPE grades that we expect to stand out in the market," Scholle said.

The company is targeting producers of blowmolded bottles for household and industrial chemicals and for personal care.

Sabic has been accelerating grade development in recent months, and will be fine-tuning the new grades during the first quarter prior to their formal launch. The company said it is already talking with potential customers to ensure that the new grades fulfill their requirements.

Initially, the Gelsenkirchen plant will supply two grades, both with a density of 0.958 g/cm3, with melt flow rates (MFR) of 22 and 28 g/10 min (21.6 kg) respectively. Bimodal HDPE, which exhibits two peaks in its molecular weight distribution, has an "excellent environmental stress crack resistance (ESCR) and has low die swell," the company stated. In some cases the new grades can also provide customers productivity advantage such as a faster cycle time or weight-out.

"The new HDPE blow molding grades will form the basis of a global platform," said Riyadh Al-Djein, business director of HDPE at Sabic. "From our plants in Germany and Saudi Arabia, we will be able to satisfy expected needs in markets around the world, not just Europe and the Middle East. Having two plants will enable us to ensure continuity of supply."

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