Availability of phthalate-free-plasticizers

In 2010 demand recovery happened much quicker as expected. Global PVC demand improved significantly but was still not at 2007 levels. One of the striking events in 2010 was the lack of raw materials. Producer could even have produced more if only they had the needed raw materials. Due to a combination of booming demand and production issues and turnarounds both PVC and plasticizers saw periods of shortages.

Availability of DINP at some point of time was so limited that some customers switched back to old formulations and started to use DOP again. In other cases the unavailability of phthalate plasticizers did mean the last push to move to phthalate-free plasticizers.
The more we will see a movement towards phthalate-free plasticizer the less suppliers will be willing to invest in their existing phthalate capacity. Suppliers of phthalate-free plasticizers on the other hand have to take bold steps on two fronts at the same time. First, enough capacity will need to be made available to support a switch to phthalate-free plasticizers. Second, the raw materials need to be secured.

It is evident that integrated suppliers of phthalate-free plasticizers do have a major advantage.
OXEA is integrated in the key raw materials and can rely on getting the raw materials needed. Also OXEA already invested in extending production capacity and is building a brand new ester plant in Oberhausen in order to support the increasing market shift to phthalate-free plasticizers.


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PVC & Plasticizers: What, Where & Why