By Chris Sweeney, Crain News Service
JOINVILLE, Brazil — Bluestar Silicones has moved its production facilities from Sao Paulo to Joinville, Brazil, according to its parent company, China National Bluestar Group.
Services, logistics, transport infrastructure and the availability of skilled labor were the main reasons behind the move, according to the company.
The $12.3 million, 26,246-sq.-ft. facility began operations in mid-September, 2016, at the Perini Business Park and has created 40 jobs, Bluestar said. Joinville is about 324 miles south of Sao Paulo.
“Even in this challenging environment, we trust the company and the region and hope to resume rapid growth in the coming years,” CEO Lucas Freire said in a statement.
Patricia Ajeje, Bluestar's business manager for Brazil, said the decision Solvay S.A. made to shut down the previous site in Sao Paulo necessitated the move. Bluestar Silicones is Rhodia's former silicones unit, which in turn is owned by Solvay.
Bluestar Silicones expects the new production unit, with its logistics platform, to offer efficiency and quick delivery of products coming from other subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and North America. The firm does not seem to be deterred by the recent struggles in the Brazilian economy.
“We agree it has been a challenge for the last month, but we believe that the economy will recover,” Ms. Ajeje said. “We believe that the economy is going to recover soon, and we trust in the business. The investments of Bluestar here are also a sign of trust and highlights the importance of the region to the company. We believe we are ready to support our customers.”
A member of Elkem A.S., based in Norway, Bluestar Silicones is headquartered in Lyon, France, and is a supplier to the automotive, adhesive, construction and healthcare markets.
This report appeared in Rubber & Plastics News, an Akron-based sister publication of Tire Business.