• Impact International MD Aleks Lajovic: This could be the last pallet of XDS 34 LDPE resin in Australia if Qenos does not re open the Botany plant.
    Impact International MD Aleks Lajovic: This could be the last pallet of XDS 34 LDPE resin in Australia if Qenos does not re open the Botany plant.
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Earlier this month PKN published an article that voiced industry concern over the speculation that Qenos might be closing its polymer manufacturing plants in Australia. Qenos has remained silent on the matter. The MD of Qenos customer Impact International, Aleks Lajovic, wants some answers, so has gone on record here.

“Impact International prefers to buy Australian-made where we can and we have been a loyal Qenos customer for as long as I can remember,” Lajovic says.

Impact International, a manufacturer of tubes for cosmetics, pharmaceutical and person care sectors, uses low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) sourced from Qenos.

“When the cooling towers at the Botany Plant failed back in February last year, we were very supportive of the predicament that Qenos found themselves in and took additional measures to ensure we were in a position to remain a customer when the plant reopened.

“Fast forward to today, we feel let down, frustrated and deceived. The actions of Qenos are 'un-Australian' in my opinion.” 

On 9  February 2024, Qenos issued a written communication to customers stating: “The Qenos technical team has identified some additional risk associated with the Olefines gas drier and a comprehensive inspection is needed prior to start-up. The requirement for the inspection has become a critical path item, delaying the forecast for on-spec ethylene forecast until late March”.

Since this update, Lajovic tells PKN, Qenos has verbally informed customers that the restart of the Botany plant has been “paused” and, he says, has refused to issue any written communication to their customers on the matter.

“They have also refused to provide a timeline for the plant to resume production. Their actions are hard to comprehend. How does one take close to one year to repair a serious piece of plant and then at the last hurdle, decide to 'pause' restarting the facility? On top of that, account managers are gagged from communicating in writing to customers or providing any information to their customers about what their future plans entail,” Lajovic relates.

He goes on to say that it is his genuine hope that Qenos continues to operate in Australia as they play a pivotal role in both the supply of virgin resin as well as in our future national recycling plans. This sentiment is wholeheartedly supported by the Australian industry, as outlined in PKN's article of 7 March.

“The chosen actions of Qenos’ owners and management make it hard for companies like Impact International to include Qenos in their future supply chain planning and purchasing decisions. I also feel for the staff affected,” Lajovic continues

“How does Qenos retain the skilled staff required to resume production at the Botany plant if they have no idea how long the plant will remain closed for? I cannot imagine being a Sales Account Manager in this situation. Imagine being instructed by your boss to call customers who have been told that the Botany plant restart is about to happen and then having to say the plant restart is 'paused' but being unable to answer any questions or provide written correspondence to customers on the topic. It would not make for a pleasant day at work.”

In Lajovic's view, the longer Qenos remains silent, the worse it looks and the more reputational damage is done. His final plea is this: “Qenos, please remove your communications embargo and inform the wider industry when or if Botany will re-open and please stop treating your customers with contempt.”

 

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