Petrotahlil :Belgian plastics compounder Benvic Europe continues to strengthen its position across Europe with recent acquisitions of other PVC compounding companies in Italy and Poland.
At the start of this year, Benvic of Jemeppe, Belgium confirmed its purchase of the family-owned Warsaw, Poland-based compounder Alfa PVC which runs a modern plant at Witkowo in Raciąż district, north of the capital, producing soft and rigid vinyl granulate.
Last year, the plant, built in 2016 to meet rising demand as the business grew, had three compound production lines with an overall capacity of 8,000 tpa.
In a further move, Benvic Europe, a regional leader in PVC compounding, is now targeting an Italian rival, Modenplast Medical which specialises in medical grade vinyl compounds and tubing extrusion.
Based in Ubersetto di Fiorano, near Modena in northern Italy, Modenplast operates a local plant and exports around 85% of its output, chiefly to Germany and northern Europe. It recorded a €12m annual turnover.
Benvic Europe is aiming to complement its compound range as well as to extend its portfolio to include medical tubing production. Modenplast has developed its own extrusion machinery in a joint venture with another Italian engineering firm.
Benvic Europe, which already operates compounding production units at Chauvigny-Saint-Sauveur in France and at Montornés del Vallés, Catalonia in Spain, is investing in new equipment and enhanced industrial performance at its plants.
This should enable it to expand its range of PVC compounds and premixes offered by its plants as it boosts its position in European markets.
Meanwhile, the enterprising Belgian company has taken steps to broaden its PVC compounding business by breaking into the biodegradable plastics area. Last year, the firm said it was considering acquiring “an R&D start-up with the unique expertise needed to design biopolymer solutions”.
Benvic Europe then acquired the site of the former VinyLoop PVC recycling site in Ferrara, Italy along with the plant’s workforce. The Belgian firm said it planned to launch a new biopolymers and technical polymers manufacturing line there during 2019.
“The biodegradable and renewable material is a promising alternative to traditional plastics in certain applications,” Benvic Europe declared in a statement late last year.
Benvic has now redeveloped the Ferrara site building a production line dedicated to the production of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) and biopolymers. The modified facility was set to go on stream this spring.
In Spain, the firm announced it would convert one of its production lines at the Catalan plant this year to increase premix production. Earlier, as a sign of its determination to develop its operations in Spain, Benvic Europe planned to consolidate its local position by buying the plant site which it has been leasing.
Meanwhile, the company recently installed a new granulator at its French unit which was due to be in full production this year. The firm also planned to install a new premix homogeniser there in 2019.
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