About 35 years old, that facility covers roughly 12,000m2 and has 15 production lines with 180 employees and production capacity for about 18,000 tonnes/yr of color and additive masterbatches. Ortega said the company has whittled its choices down to three sites and has already ordered nine twin-screw compounding extruders from Coperion. It will move six of the newer lines it has at its existing plant, but not any of its older, continuous-feed systems.
In addition to its 18,000 tonnes/yr of capacity in São Paulo, the company has an additional 100,000 tonnes/yr of production at its site in Bahia, which opened in 2001. That plant will add two lines, one for white masterbatch and one for black, with the black system from Century and the white supplied by Coperion. Cromex purchased the systems at last summer's NPE2009, investing around $2.5 million. Ortega said that other than a flat 2008, business has increased by about 20-25%/yr for Cromex, with 2010 forecast to be up about 22%.
A member of the Brazilian government's Export Plastics Program, Cromex is actively working to increase exports, targeting Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, at this time. The company also has tremendous opportunities domestically, specifically for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, both of which will be in Brazil. Ferigatto said the World Cup will utilize 12 stadiums, including five new ones, with older sites to be remodeled. Cromex is supplying additive and color packages for the seats, with antioxidant and UV systems to provide high light fastness and long-term color integrity.
The company is also ramping up production to satisfy new product launches, including a antimicrobial line and work with Brazilian plastic producer Braskem on its Green Polyethylene line of materials based on sugar-cane derived ethanol. During last year's Brasilplast, Cromex signed an agreement with Braskem to purchase around 120 tonnes/month of the material, for which it will compound color and additive packages. —Tony Deligio