US Syrgis adopts new business names, eyes world growth

US specialty chemicals producer Syrgis is adopting new names for two of its three business units, part of a plan to expand into new markets including Latin America and the Middle East, a company executive said on Tuesday.

Syrgis is the result of various acquisitions that, over the years, provided it with its three current business segments. The units make oilfield chemicals, ultraviolet (UV) light absorbers and organic peroxides – used to produce unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) and vinyl ester resins.

In the past, much of the businesses’ markets were concentrated in North America and Europe, said Jeffrey Gates, Syrgis director of marketing. He was speaking on the sidelines of the Informex Specialty Chemical Conference in Houston.

To make its marketing less expensive and more effective, Syrgis adopted a branding campaign, intended to give the three businesses a consistent name and look, Gates said.

That, in turn, could help the company expand into newer markets. In particular, Latin America and the Middle East could become lucrative destination for the company’s organic peroxides, produced by Syrgis Performance Initiators, he added.

Both regions have growing construction and infrastructure segments, important end markets for UPR, Gates said. Moreover, rising sales in those regions could help offset weak demand in the US and Europe.

As nations adopt stricter regulations for air emissions, they could also create demand for wind turbines, an important end use for vinyl ester resins, he said.

Similar regulations for automobiles could encourage manufactures to produce parts out of composites instead of metals – a move that would lighten vehicles and reduce emissions, he said.
Syrgis Performance Chemicals (PChem), the oilfield chemicals segment, is targeting the Middle East as a natural market for expansion, he said. Meanwhile, the business should also benefit from higher oil prices, since that encourages producers to drill marginal wells.

Those wells typically produce oil with relatively large amounts of sulphur and water – by products that can damage oilfield equipment lacking treatment chemicals, Gates said.

The third business – Syrgis Performance Specialties – produces the UV absorbers used in plastic films and skincare products.

To develop a longer-term approach to growth, Syrgis recently created a position for a chief technology officer, Gates said. The officer is intended to put in place what Gates calls an innovation infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the company is building a new lab facility at its plant in Helena, Arkansas, he said. “We do believe we are well positioned for growth,” he said.