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Karen Laird

June 9, 2016

4 Min Read
Songwon pursues a steady course of growth

“Innovation,” said Maurizio Butti, CEO Songwon Industrial Group at the pre-K press event organized by EMG in Antwerp today, “is not just about creating new molecules, but about bringing new solutions that are able to meet the needs of the changing industry. And these are what we will be showcasing at the K Show in Dusseldorf later this year.”

Songwon, the Korean-based producer of polymer stabilizers and second in the world only to BASF, manufactures a complete portfolio of antioxidants and UV stabilizers in a full range of physical forms. The company is a leading supplier of One Pack Systems (OPS) − multicomponent, tailor made blends of additives in a pelletized form, packaged in a clean, dust free environment, ready for shipping. According to Butti, the market for OPS continues to show healthy growth, because customers today are mainly looking for ways to boost the efficiency of their production processes “and that is what we can do very well,” he said.

Since 2006, the company has steadily expanded its manufacturing footprint to meet the requirements of the markets it serves. To that end, it recently opened a new OPS manufacturing facility in Abu Dhabi, with an initial capacity of 7,000MT/a, in order to better serve the needs of customers in the Middle East region and beyond. Songwon also has established production plants in Greiz, Germany and in Houston, USA.

Over the past few years, moreover, the company has built capacity in China – “You need a physical presence in China to penetrate that market,” said Butti – having opened a fully back integrated 8,000 MT/a plant in Tangshan, which produces thioester antioxidants for the Chinese market. The company is currently also in the final stages of construction of a new facility in Qingdao for the production of its SongNox OnePack Systems.

“We want to ensure that we can deliver the same technology to our global customers wherever they are in the world,” said Butti. “And this is the reason we have chosen to invest in building our new production facilities. For us, reliability is key.”

Butti also talked about the company’s strategic choices going forward, noting that the company has broadened its efforts and is focusing on new areas of interest that indicate above average growth prospects. “We want to move into new businesses to minimize the risk in existing businesses,” he explained bluntly. “So in case something happens to the stabilizers, our portfolio will be more balanced in order to compensate.”

“The majority of growth will be in new businesses through 2020,” he added. “Our aim is to move from being a global additive supplier to become a real specialty chemicals company.”

To that end, for example, Songwon is expanding the family of high-performance phenolic antioxidant solutions it produces for the fuel and lube additives industry. Its range of products will be sold under the well-known Songwon brand name, SONGNOX®. Songwon says that it will offer the range globally via a dedicated channel-to-market sales team.

In addition, Songwon recently joined forces with Heraeus to jointly develop and market high end specialty chemicals for the electronics industry. The cooperation combines Songwon's strong expertise in R&D and chemical manufacturing with Heraeus' technical capabilities and high reputation in the electronics chemical industry, thereby broadening both companies' access to the global electronics market, especially in Asia. Under the agreement, the high end specialty chemicals co-developed for the electronics and semiconductor market will be produced by Songwon and marketed by Heraeus along with its existing portfolio.

“Geographically, we are well positioned – Korea, China and and Taiwan are the leaders in this area. So we are in the right place. We offer speed and flexibility – and we have in fact all the strengths to be a key player in this market.”

The new strategic direction will be evident at the upcoming K Show, Butti assured. “At K2016, we have a unique opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of our technologies, the diverse markets and applications we serve, as well as our global reach,” he said. “We are looking forward to further strengthening our relationships throughout the value chain and engaging with our customers during the fair.”

Songwon’s global and local representatives will be in Hall 6, Booth B07 at K2016 from October 19-26.

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