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Resins & Coatings

News Review


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German chemical industry cuts its forecast

The German chemical industry has cut its forecast for the current year due to the oil price slump.
The industry sales are expected to decline by 0.5% in 2015, said the chief executive of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), Utz Tillmann, in Frankfurt.
In December, a sales increase of 1.5% was expected for chemicals, Germany's third-largest industry. The reason for pessimism is the strong competition: The industry is expected to pass on lower raw material costs quickly and completely to the customer. The chemicals prices should therefore not fall by 0.5% in 2015, but by 2.0%.
In terms of production, the industry expects an increase of 1.5% during the current year. For the chemical industry a changeable fiscal year with a disappointing final quarter had ended. Production, prices, sales and capacity utilization declined in the last three months of 2014.
Many customers back on their orders, because of the drop in oil prices, in the hope of further declines in chemical prices, so the economic dynamics remain generally low, Tillman said. The German chemicals industry increased total sales of chemicals and drugs by 1.4% to EUR 193.2 billion euros, during 2014, slightly weaker than previously estimated.

BASF's jump in profits does not convince investors

The world's largest chemical company, BASF, is expected to present stagnant earnings for the current 150 years anniversary in 2015, despite the fall in prices and profits from exchange rate effects, last year.
In particular, the turmoil in the oil price guarantee uncertainties. In the past year it ran pretty good for Ludwigshafen: Earnings before interest, taxes and special effects reached EUR 7.36 billion. For the anniversary year, CFO Hans-Ulrich Engel expects moderate sales growth of 1-5%.
However, the workers of the world's largest chemical company can look forward to the anniversary this year, as CEO Kurt Bock announced in Ludwigshafen bonuses of a total of EUR 100 million. "Our employees are the foundation for our long-term success - and has been for 150 years," he said.

EVONIK reports sales increase of 2%

Evonik Industries has reported today full-year 2014 sales of €12.9 billion, compared with €12.7 billion a year ago, or an increase of 2% year-on-year. Volumes rose by +3% but selling prices fell slightly (-1%), resulting in organic growth of 2%.
Adjusted EBITDA in full-year 2014 was €1.9 billion, versus €2.0 billion in 2013, a decline of 6%, but "within the forecast range". Sales in Q4 were €3.23 billion, compared with €3.09 billion a year ago, an increase of 4% year-on-year. Evonik says that it intends to continue its growth strategy based on its strong balance sheet and solid financial profile. "We will mobilize the company's resources and funds for further growth", says Klaus Engel, executive board chairman. Innovation is the driving force of Evonik's growth strategy, according to Engel. Evonik invested €1.1 billion in new production facilities in 2014, including around €420 million at its German sites.
Evonik expects to report a slight increase in sales and the operating result in fiscal 2015. Adjusted Ebitda should also be slightly higher than in the previous year, the company says. Given the strong start to the year, Engel says he is optimistic that Evonik will achieve its targets.

BAYER MaterialScience to stop MDI production in Brazil

Bayer MaterialScience plans to stop production of MDI at its plant near Rio de Janerio in July 2015, removing 55kT/year of MDI production from the market. Bayer added that internal analyses show it is too expensive to make these products in Belford Roxo compared to other sites.
The Belford Roxo plant opened in 1983, and had capacity of 45kT/year MDI and a splitter with capacity of 13kT/year in 2005. At that time Bayer was considering a boost in MDI for Brazil by adding a further 10 kT/year capacity. Bayer was importing around 10kT/year TDI into Brazil and an equivalent amount of polyols. At the time it was the only isocyanate producer on the continent.

WACKER builds new plant for specialty monomers

Wacker Chemie AG is currently building a new plant for specialty monomers with an annual capacity of 3,800 metric tons at its Burghausen, Germany site. The Group has budgeted around €8 million for this.
The specialty monomers vinyl neodecanoate and vinyl laurate are key raw materials for the manufacture of specific dispersible polymer powders. The plant is scheduled for start-up in the second quarter of 2015. This new development allows Wacker to meet increasing demand for high-quality polymeric binders and strengthens its position as the world's leading manufacturer of dispersible polymer powders.
Wacker aims to meet the globally rising demand for its dispersible polymer powders, which is driven by worldwide trends such as urbanization, renovation and energy efficiency. With the construction of the new plant for specialty monomers, the Munich-based chemical Group is creating the necessary capacity to independently secure the supply of key raw materials for the manufacture of the powders at its Burghausen site over the long term. The specialty monomers vinyl neodecanoate and vinyl laurate confer special properties on Wacker's dispersible polymer powders, such as hydrophobicity.
(Chemical Engineering)

AKZO invests on a new alkoxylation facility in China

AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals business recently broke ground on a new alkoxylation facility in Ningbo, China, bringing the company's total investment in the strategic multi-site to more than €400 million.
The Ningbo multi-site covers around 50 hectares and accommodates production for chelates, ethylene amines, ethylene oxide, organic peroxides and Bermocoll cellulose derivatives. Surface Chemistry's latest investment will increase capacity by nearly 18,000 metric tons per year, mainly catering to domestic demand in China.
Graeme Armstrong, managing director of AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry stated that "the new alkoxylation facility in Ningbo will allow us to better serve our customers in the region, which is one of our top priorities. It also provides us with the opportunity to meet the increasing demands of the market while operating production locally, which will result in less need for transportation, shorter turnaround times and a lower carbon footprint".
(Chemical Engineering)

BAYER MaterialScience takes over composites specialist TCG

Bayer MaterialScience has concluded the takeover of Thermoplast Composite GmbH, a technology leader specializing in the production of thermoplastic fiber composites. Bayer MaterialScience will use the acquisition to expand its range of products for important industries and thereby strengthen its leading position.
Bayer MaterialScience is already active in the development and marketing of composite solutions based on polyurethane systems. "We are seeing significant demand and growth opportunities for composites made from thermoplastic materials such as polycarbonate", said Dr. Markus Steilemann, member of the company's Executive Committee and Head of the Polycarbonates Business Unit.
(Chemical Engineering)

Global TiO2 market will expand by 3.8%

The global titanium dioxide market is largely stimulated due to the increasing demand for lightweight vehicles that has led to a rise in demand for polycarbonate, a thermoplastic used as a lightweight substitute for metal and glass-based automotive parts. However, a coating material such as titanium dioxide needs to be applied on polycarbonate due to the latter’s low scratch resistance. Thus, rising demand for lightweight vehicles and increasing demand for polycarbonates are some of the major factors driving the market for titanium dioxide.
Increasing demand for coatings to improve efficiency of photovoltaic modules is anticipated to offer high growth opportunities. In contrast, increasing number of stringent regulations in the titanium dioxide market because of environmental and health hazards associated with titanium dioxide are expected to hamper the long term growth of the global titanium dioxide market.
Some of the prominent players in the global market of titanium dioxide include DuPont, Tronox Limited, Cristal Global and Kronos Worldwide, among others. According to a report, the global market of titanium dioxide was estimated at US$13.14 billion in the year 2013 and reach US$17.12 billion by 2020. The global titanium dioxide market will expand by 3.8% between 2014 and 2020.

OXEA announces price increases in Europe

Oxea will increase list and off-list prices on 2-Ethylhexanol by EUR 80/MT, butanol by EUR 70/MT and butyl acetate by EUR 50/MT, effective March 1, 2015, or as contracts allow.

Saint-Gobain and Sika clash on takeover

Europe's biggest supplier of building materials is encountering strong resistance in its $3 billion bid to acquire a controlling interest in a Swiss specialty chemical company. The companies compete directly in the mortar business.
A majority of Sika's stakeholders, along with Sika's board of directors and management team, now oppose the planned takeover by Saint-Gobain. The dispute arose in December 2014, when Saint-Gobain, based in Courbevoie, France, announced plans to take control of the Sika. Saint-Gobain's proposed acquisition involves the purchase of Schenker Winkler Holding AG, which owns 16.1% of Sika's capital and 52.4% of its voting rights. The purchase price is $3.1 billion USD. Schenker Winkler Holding AG is controlled by the Burkard-Schenker family, Sika's founders.
Many investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Fidelity Investments, have backed the efforts mounted by Sika's board, according to the company. Founded in 1910, Sika is a world leader in construction chemicals, adhesives and sealants. Its portfolio includes waterproofing, sealing and soundproofing products for the construction industry. The company employs more than 17,000 people in 90 countries and reported about $5.35 billion USD in sales in 2013.
Saint-Gobain traces its roots to 1665, when it received a patent during the reign of Louis XIV to manufacture mirror glass. The company produces glass and high-performance materials for housing and industrial markets as well as building materials for the construction industry. The company employs about 190,000 people in 64 countries and posted sales of about $47 billion USD in 2013.
(Durability & Design)

DSM sells its composite resins to Cathay Investments

Dutch life and materials sciences company Royal DSM has completed the sale of its composite resins unit, Euroresins, to Cathay Investments. Euroresins primarily offers products to the composite resins industry. It generates revenues of €90 million and has a workforce of around 70, with a presence in nine countries across the UK and Europe. Sale of this segment is in-line with DSM's strategic plans for the composite resins unit.
Cathay Investments manages a group of companies engaged in chemical distribution and trading. The company's principal trading business, Cathay Composites, offers glass fibre, resins and other composite materials, across the UK and Scandinavia.
Completion of the Euroresins sale follows DSM's announcement to upgrade its facilities in Massachusetts, US, in order to produce waterborne resins for inks and coatings. DSM serves various sectors worldwide, including food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials. The company generates annual net revenues of around €10 billion and has a workforce of 24,500.

Celanese announces price increases on intermediates

Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, will increase list and off-list selling prices for Butyl Acetate by €50/MT, Methyl Isobutyl Ketone (MIBK) by €100/MT and Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) by €85/MT.
Based in Dallas, Texas, Celanese employs approximately 7,500 employees worldwide and posted net sales of $6.8 billion in 2014.

Hempel expands with first factory in Africa

Hempel has acquired its South African toll manufacturer, The Coatings Manufacturing Co. (TCMC), located near Johannesburg. Hempel South Africa has partnered with TCMC since 2011 to serve customers in the region.
The new plant in South Africa is one of four new factories that Hempel has added to its worldwide production footprint since 2014, as part of its "One Hempel – One Ambition" growth strategy. Hempel inaugurated its first 100% waterborne coatings factory in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) in February 2014 and a new factory in India in September 2014. In December 2014, as part of the acquisition of Schaepman, a Dutch supplier of specialized industrial, protective and decorative coatings, Hempel gained a new production facility in the Netherlands. Last month, the company also signed a binding agreement to acquire Jones-Blair Co., a leading North American coatings supplier for the protective and waterproofing markets.

Arkema finalises acquisition of Oxido

French chemical group Arkema has acquired Italy-based Oxido, which formulates organic peroxides primarily for synthetic rubber cross-linking. The acquisition is said to strengthen Arkema's high-performance materials segment, as well as provide a platform to increase production capacities currently underway in China.
Arkema Europe organic peroxide business director Jean Saint-Donat said: "This acquisition reinforces our European integration structure and our leadership in organic peroxides around the Spinetta and Günzburg plants, ideally complemented by the expertise of Oxido's Anagni plant, a centre of excellence in organic peroxide formulation". Oxido offers peroxides used primarily to cross-link synthetic rubber, plastics, initiators for polyester resins and hardeners. The company's annual revenues are around €20 million.
With the acquisition of Oxido, Arkema will now produce organic peroxides at 12 of its facilities across the world and offer a wide range of products for cable, automotive and construction industries, among others. As part of the development plan launched in 2013, the company recently increased capacities at its units in Spinetta, Italy, and Franklin, US, to serve the increasing demand in the synthetic rubber industry. Oxido's acquisition follows Arkema's purchase of Total's adhesives business, Bostik, last month.

Conference & Exhibition : Corrosion 2015

CORROSION 2015 is the world's largest corrosion conference and expo. After a record breaking year in San Antonio in 2014, CORROSION 2015 will once again join more than 7,000 corrosion professionals and 450 exhibiting companies in Dallas, Texas, between 15-19 MAR, for an educational event focused on the prevention and mitigation of corrosion worldwide.
With more than 1,000 hours of technical education across 14 unique industries & technology tracks, the CORROSION conference is the key to finding your specific corrosion answers. In addition to the stellar technical program, CORROSION 2015 will give you the opportunity to expand your professional network through exciting networking events as well as the expansive exhibit hall floor.
(NACE International)

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News are listed from various sources, as quoted above, aggregated by agents ANDRIANOS Chemicals, Athens, Greece.