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With new Alliance, Chinese TPE supplier makes play into North America

A new joint venture between Alliance Polymers & Services LLC, a recently formed thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) distributor in Michigan, and Chinese compounder Polymax Elastomer Technology Co. Ltd. appears to give both companies what they need. Alliance comes nearly out of the gate with a broad product portfolio, and Polymax gets a foothold into a major new market.

Alliance (Romulus, MI) says the JV gives it a portfolio of a minimum of 20 SEBS-based standard and custom Maxelast-brand TPE compounds, all from Polymax (Nantong, China). All grades are inventoried and ready for immediate shipment from the Alliance central warehouse in the Detroit area and from sites on both U.S. coasts. Custom grades can also be supplied. Roger Huarng and Stephane Morin, former long-term executives with the Elastollan TPU business unit of BASF Corp., opened Alliance in October 2009.

According to Alliance, a next step, tentatively scheduled for May 2012, is for Polymax to build a TPE compounding production facility at an as-yet unannounced location in the U.S.

Polymax's ownership is comprised of citizens of China and U.S., who formed the company almost a decade ago. Helping run the show there is Martin Lu, formerly the Far East Technical Supervisor for GLS's Chinese operations. GLS was acquired in 2007 by PolyOne.

Stephane Morin, one of the principals at Alliance, said the the JV enables the distributor to compete by offering the same or better quality of TPEs as are now available in the U.S. at "exceptionally competitive prices", backed by service and support.

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