Booming in Middle East wire & cable industry

Booming in Middle East wire & cable industry
Clariant Masterbatches positioned to serve booming Middle East wire & cable industry.

With huge new construction projects underway across the Middle East demand for locally produced wire and cable has more than doubled in the past five years.

With new projects in the planning stages – including new soccer stadiums and related infrastructure to support the 2022 World Cup tournament in Qatar – this trend is likely to continue for many years. New cable-making ventures have started up and even established companies are bringing on substantial new capacity on-line. All this, in turn, has created unprecedented demand for color and additive masterbatches. At ArabPlast 2011, Clariant Masterbatches presented a wide range of color and additive solutions, including many that support the booming wire and cable industry.

“With plants in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Europe, Clariant can quickly deliver masterbatches that are tailor-made for any of the plastic materials used in cable production,” explains Atba Farooqui, Head of Masterbatches, Pakistan. “Truck delivery from our facility in Saudi Arabia to most Middle Eastern countries usually takes just one day and lead times from Pakistan can be as short as 15 days from receipt of the purchase order. This is a tremendous advantage as it improves net working capital (NWC) issues for our customers in the region.”

The Clariant facility in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is set up to produce REMAFIN -brand masterbatches used with polyolefins and cross-linked polyethylene. In Karachi, Pakistan, Clariant makes RENOL products for PVC. Color masterbatches for high-performance engineering polymers – like TPU, PET, PBT, PA-12, PVDF and TFE – are available from Pogliano, Italy, along with CESA -brand additive masterbatches that improve processing and protect end products after installation.

In addition to the logistical benefits of its production network in the region, Clariant is able to assist customers in keeping coloring costs to a minimum. Sourcing PVC resin locally in Pakistan is a significant advantage over traditional European supplies. In addition, when working with black pigments, which are always difficult to disperse, Clariant is able to offer cable customers a carbon black masterbatch that is more highly loaded than most competitive products. The higher pigment loading means the let-down ratio can be reduced with corresponding savings.

The harsh environment of the Middle East can be challenging to the long-term performance of wire and cable products and CESA additive masterbatches can help. UV stabilizers, for instance can protect plastics from discoloration, embrittlement and degradation caused by exposure to sunlight and oxygen.

Anti-termite additives are effective in discouraging the insects, which are known to chew on underground cables with outer jackets made of PVC and sometimes polyethylene. Available in pelletized masterbatch form, the Clariant products have been found to have numerous advantages over oil-based materials that have been commonly used in the Middle East for many years. Masterbatches are easier to store and handle than oils, which are normally applied to the surface of plastic pellets before processing. In contrast, the active ingredients are compounded into the polymer masterbatch so protection is more long-lasting.

Anti-termite masterbatches are easy and safe to handle, reducing employee health and pollution concerns, and it is easy to control the total amount of additive used – to meet specific customer needs – simply by adjusting the dosing rate. Clariant is also planning to introduce an anti-rodent masterbatch in the near future. Clariant additive masterbatches can be supplied by themselves, or the active ingredients can be combined with selected pigments to yield a single, multipurpose “combibatch” that delivers both color and functionality to meet virtually any special customer requirement.

Recognizing growing concern among both manufacturers and consumers about workplace and product safety, Clariant Masterbatches has been developing a wide range of policies and products for many years. For instance, it was one of the first companies to eliminate the use of heavy metals like lead in most applications. Clariant is committed to the long-term reduction of heavy-metal products across the plastics industry as a whole and its work with wire and cable producers is no exception. Technical experts have worked closely with customers to find successful heavy-metal-free product formulations regardless of applications or production location.

In addition, since 2006, Clariant Masterbatches has been recommending against the use of phthalate plasticizers, which tend to migrate out of polymer material raising health concerns. Today, Clariant Pakistan and other Clariant sites offer phthalate-free masterbatches.


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