Sumitomo Chemical is to establish Sumika Polymer Compounds Poland (SPCP), to enhance its polypropylene (PP) compound business.

SPCP will start commercial production in the spring of 2022.

PP compounds are materials made by kneading PP with synthetic rubber, glass fibres, or inorganic fillers to improve its functionality and increase rigidity and other properties, for use in car bumpers, interiors and home appliances.

Sumitomo Chemical Group maintains it has a competitive advantage in short glass fibre reinforced PP compounds (GFPP). GFPP is a material which combines the light weight and mouldability of PP, with the strength and heat tolerance of glass fibres.

The Group has been expanding GFPP sales globally for use in automotive parts, such as battery casings and home appliances, such as drum cover cases for washing machines.

Many automobile manufacturers have production bases in Poland and neighbouring regions, such as Eastern Germany and the Czech Republic. Due to widespread adoption of electric vehicles prompted by tighter environmental regulations, strong demand for PP compounds is expected to continue.

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Sumitomo Chemical will have more speedy access to its customers in those regions as SPCP was set up as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumika Polymer Compounds Europe (SPCE).

As the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan heightens the need for recycled products, Sumitomo Chemical intends to increase the market share of GFPP containing 60% to 100% recycled PP by starting production in SPCP, following the lead of Sumitomo Chemical’s bases in the UK and France.