“With the new production plant in Santa Clara, Clariant Mexico will double annual production capacity for water-based pigment preparations,” said Gisleine Souza, head of BU Pigments Latin America. “The demand for water-based pigments and pigment preparations has been increasing significantly in the last few years.”
The size of the Latin American market for water-based pigments is an elusive figure. “Actually, it is not an easy task to define the market size for water-based pigments due to the diversity of applications in many industries. However, we can say that Latin America is considered a strategic market for Clariant due to its growth potential,” Souza allowed. “Our company has been exploring new business opportunities on a regular basis to provide innovative solutions to attend our customers and potential customers‘ needs,” she added.
While the new line is in Mexico, which frequently is dedicated to U.S. demand, this operation will play a hemispheric role. “This capacity increase will enable Clariant to improve support for North and Latin America’s current and emerging market segments, including decorative coatings, non-impact and flexo printing, industrial coatings, and specialties like home care, personal care and stationery,” Souza said.
This investment is only the latest in a string of strategic developments by the company across Latin America. “Clariant has a strong footprint in Latin America for all its business units, with production plants, laboratories and sales offices in strategic markets, covering more than eight countries,” Souza said. “Specifically for pigment preparations, Clariant has production plants in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, to provide solutions for the whole region.”
The cumulative capacity positions the company well for the growing regional consumer base for water-soluble pigments. “Clariant is one of the leaders in the pigment and pigment preparations market in Latin America due to its strong expertise, production capabilities, technical services and support,” Souza said.
One requirement for growth in this segment is technological support for the customer, Souza explained. “Sustainability is gaining more and more importance in the overall markets, including inks, paints and coatings industries. Therefore, Clariant has been supporting several customers in their growth projects with tailor made solutions based on the company technology and know-how.”
Among other water-based pigments manufacturers in Mexico, Canada’s InterStar makes products in Mexico City for concrete coloration as well as acrylic sealants for concrete. Lanxess and Eckart also are active in the market, as is Evonik, which has five locations in the country.