Nippon Gohsei (UK) has appointed a new managing director as the company looks to exploit the significant recent investments at its Saltend facility in Hull.
Mr Hideki Ono will ensure that the company’s UK strategy and product development are implemented, fully utilising new production facilities including the second manufacturing line for its Soarnol food packaging product.
A graduate of Osaka University, Mr Ono’s impressive CV details more than 30 years’ experience in research, development and sales as well as plant management.
He has been with Nippon Gohsei since joining from university in 1978 and was most recently executive officer at the company’s Mizushima plant, the only other facility worldwide to manufacture Soarnol.
“The expansion of our UK and Hull manufacturing facility follows a continued upsurge in demand for Soarnol,” said Mr Ono, who has replaced Noriaki Hamada who joined in 2011. “This represents an excellent opportunity for us to develop markets and products for Soarnol, the full potential of which is only now just being realised.
“We are continually finding new uses for the technology, and although food packaging is still our main market, we are innovating all the time, including for medical and pharmacological uses.”
Soarnol, the trade name for ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), is commonly used as a barrier layer in food packaging to preserve flavour and freshness in items such as squeezy mayonnaise and ketchup bottles, baby food packaging, meat packaging, or in the protective film on a ready meal. Other applications include cosmetic products such as cream and toothpaste tubes or in plastic fuel tanks, and underfloor heating.
The company’s new manufacturing line has doubled existing production capacity at its Marfleet Environmental Technology Park facility, which was established in 2011 to produce bespoke, compounded grades of Soarnol.
Nippon Gohsei is the UK’s only producer of Soarnol and one of only two worldwide. It started manufacturing the product at Saltend Chemicals Park in 2004 after being attracted to the area due to its geographical position and the raw materials that could be sourced from BP.