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Despite sector’s challenges, new DAK CEO sees growth potential for PET

Jorge Young, the newly appointed CEO of DAK Americas, has a simple answer for possible areas of growth for the company. "All our business units have growth opportunities," Young told PlasticsToday. "Growth will be through innovation and R&D and working closely with current and prospective customers on what solutions they are pursuing to match marketplace needs."

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producer DAK Americas recently promoted Young to the position of president and CEO. Young assumes this position with the retirement of Hector Camberos.

Upon retiring from DAK Americas, Camberos (who has held the position of president since DAK's creation in 2001) will move and return home to Argentina and assume the leadership of DAK Americas' Argentina PET Business.  The company stated he will be active in strategic growth initiatives and new business developments of Alfa, DAK's parent company, in South America. 

DAK Americas, which is headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is wholly owned by Alfa S.A.B. de C.V. of Monterrey Mexico. DAK Americas is comprised of four business units: (PET), Polyesters Staple Fibers (PSF), Monomers/ ingredients (TPA/PTA), and Specialty Polymers.

Young has been with DAK Americas since it was established and has been serving as the executive VP PET resins since 2007 and VP finance and administration prior.

During Young's tenure with DAK Americas, he oversaw the growth of the PET resin business to become the largest PET resin producer in North America and the second largest worldwide, growing capacity to more than 4.3 billion lb, according to the company.

Young said challenges he foresees will be continued global competition and demand fluctuations across many of the markets.   

"We are prepared to handle these challenges with the very capable people, technologies and assets of DAK Americas," Young said. 

DAK Americas recently announced it will increase prices for all PSF products to $0.05 per pound effective Feb. 1, 2012. The company cited this increase is a result of high operating rates in the global paraxylene market, as a significant increase in the global cost of paraxylene is working through the polyester value chain.

Going forward, Young said he anticipates more sustainability initiatives will be introduced across all the company's businesses and locations.

"We have a five point program focused on sustainable products, environmental protection, recycling, and waste management, energy reduction and social responsibility," he said. "In 2012, we will roll out more programs as the year progresses."

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