Abraham Klip Moshinsky Director General, UNIGEL MEXICO
"We produce our own scrap when making cell casts and also collect our customers’ scraps. We then reprocess this scrap with technology we have developed in-house. We later purify it so that it behaves like the virgin material."
What type of products does Plastiglas (Unigel’s Mexican subsidiary) produce, and can you explain how the company produces recycled PMMA?
Plastiglas is the largest exporter of cell cast acrylics to the US – our product represent approximately 50% of all imports into the US and Canada. We recently started offering EcoGreen cell cast sheets, which are made of 100% recycled raw materials. Plastiglas has also started to produce some extruded sheets, but most of our business is really cell cast sheets.
We produce our own scrap when making cell casts and also collect our customers’ scraps. We then reprocess this scrap with technology we have developed in-house. We later purify it so that it behaves like the virgin material. Purification is necessary as acrylic sheets are transparent and you want to keep that transparency even when using recycled raw material.
Can you speak of the construction of Unigel’s first green hydrogen plant in Brazil?
When we produce our MMA and acrylonitrile, as a co-product we can generate ammonium sulfate, which is a fertilizer. When the Brazilian government, through Petrobras, decided to lease their agrochemical plants, it was obvious for us to participate and fortunately we won the bid. Every company is looking at growing in an environmentally sustainable way, and Unigel has found a very interesting niche to move into the green hydrogen and green ammonia process.
What needs to happen for Mexico to take advantage of nearshoring opportunities?
In terms of the new free trade agreement between Mexico, the US, and Canada, the US and Canada have issued some complaints which should still be addressed, and I am concerned that some companies and industries will lose faith and confidence in investing in Mexico depending on how these complaints are handled. Mexico is the obvious country to invest in, but the country first has to meet its commitments to create a favorable investment environment.
Which areas of Unigel’s Mexican business do you see as having strong potential for growth?