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Resins & Coatings

News Review

22

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EU chemicals output stagnates, as prices fall


European chemical output grew just 0.1% during the first two months of 2015 compared to the same period of 2014, according to the latest CEFIC Chemicals Trends Report, while producer prices fell 6.8%, year-on-year.
The toughening outlook for producers is reflected in a fall in chemicals confidence between March and April this year: chemical order books and production expectations for the coming months have worsened. Capacity utilisation remained broadly unchanged in Q1 of 2015 compared to Q4 of last year.
Latest monthly data show EU chemical producer prices fell a hefty 7.3%, compared to February 2014, while full-year 2014 prices slid 1.8% compared to 2013. Total EU chemical sales dropped 5.5% during the first two months of 2015 compared to the same period one year ago. Sales during 2014 were close to the pre-crisis full-year peak reached in 2008.
The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) Director General Hubert Mandery said: "Despite a gradual pick-up in the European economy, companies are wrestling with flat demand, falling prices and fierce competition from rivals who benefit from cheaper energy in the US and the Arabian Gulf".
The European chemical industry is a EUR 673 billion industry and the world's top exporter and importer of chemicals, with a record EUR 49.1 billion trade surplus in 2012.
(CEFIC)

WACKER raises dispersions prices


Wacker Polymers is to raise its prices for vinyl acetate homopolymer dispersions as well as vinyl acetate-ethylene and ethylene-vinyl chloride-based copolymer dispersions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Effective June 15, 2015, Wacker will implement a price increase of up to EUR 50/MT, or as customer contracts allow. This measure has become necessary in the view of the recent increase in raw-materials cost.
The dispersions mentioned are applied in a broad variety of industries, ranging from adhesives, construction, nonwovens, paints and coatings to paper, carpet and textiles.
(Coatings World)

Frost & Sullivan honors Hempel at 2015 European awards


Each year Frost & Sullivan acknowledges industry leaders and innovators for their superlative achievements throughout the year. The awards encompass a range of industries, from information and communication technologies to chemicals and healthcare.
This year, Hempel's "Hempadur AvantGuard" activated zinc primers took the New Product Innovation Award at the event. The award recognizes the products' ability to provide superior anti-corrosive protection for steel structures in tough environments. According to Frost & Sullivan, this ensures the coatings can meet customer requirements for performance and reliability in harsh environments.
Gary Jeffery, Director of UK Operations at Frost & Sullivan, said: "Hempel has developed a coating system that activates all of the zinc in the coating. As a result, the coating meets and often exceeds customer requirements for performance and reliability. This enables customers to improve both productivity and the durability of their assets".
(Coatings World)

OXEA presents n-Nonanol


With the new short-chain fatty alcohol n-Nonanol, chemical company Oxea is further expanding its large portfolio of higher alcohols. Due to its almost completely linear structure, n-Nonanol is a potent and cost-effective alternative to natural alcohols, which are made from palm oil or coconut oil.
Depending on the field of application, n-Nonanol is particularly well suited as raw material for the production of lubricants, additives, plasticizers, and surfactants that are typically used in personal care products.
"In the future", emphasizes Miguel Mantas, Managing Director at Oxea, "we shall continue to invest in the further development of our production capacities for oxo derivatives. They are an important part of our successful strategy of expanding into profitable growth markets".
(Coatings World)

SELENA expands in Kazakhstan


Polish producer of construction chemicals Selena Inc. has secured a EUR 10 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to support the company's further expansion in Kazakhstan.
Selena manufactures construction chemical products for professional contractors and DIY users. Currently, Selena is present on four continents and has eight factories in Poland and seven abroad, with more than 70% of sales coming from international markets.
Selena Group CEO Jaroslaw Michniuk said: "Kazakhstan is one of the key markets for Selena, and expanding the product group of insulation systems is the direction we decided to take in our strategy for 2016. We are operating in a highly unstable economic environment, so it is crucial to have various tools at our disposal to both boost our presence in the market of Kazakhstan, and improve the way we take on the foreign exchange challenges that come with being a multinational company".
(Chemicals Technology)

ICL divests gypsum business unit


The Performance Products segment of Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) has agreed to sell its Germany-based Pharma, Cosmetics and Gypsum (PCG) business to an affiliate of One Rock Capital Partners.
The sale of the PCG business units is part of ICL's "Next Step Forward" strategy to divest its non-core businesses to focus on its core businesses in the agriculture, food and engineered materials markets and to optimize its positioning in those markets. One Rock's purchase of the PCG businesses is in line with its investment strategy, and will provide One Rock with an opportunity to expand its activities in the global chemicals industry.
(Chemical Engineering)

ARKEMA increases polyolefins prices


Due to the rising costs of raw materials, Arkema will implement a price increase of EUR 150/MT for its specialty polyolefins.
Rising prices of raw materials (ethylene, and acrylates acetate) continues to affect production costs significantly.
This price change will be effective on June 1st, 2015 or as contracts allow and will be in effect for all grades and modes of deliveries. This new increase is in addition to the ones already announced in the previous months.
A global chemical company and France's leading chemicals producer, Arkema has operation in about 50 countries, some 19000 employees and research centers in North America, France and Asia. The Group generated pro forma annual revenue of EUR 7.5 billion in 2014.
(chemeurope.com)

TOSOH to market CHEMTURA's flame retardant products


The U.S.A-based specialty chemicals company Chemtura Corporation and the global Japanese chemical company Tosoh Corporation have signed a letter of intent establishing the framework for a long-term relationship for brominated flame retardant products and technologies in Japan. As per the agreement, Tosoh will have the exclusive right to promote and sell Chemtura's flame retardant products to Japanese customers.
Vimal Sharma, vice president and general manager of Chemtura's Great Lakes Solutions business, said, "It is our privilege to work with Tosoh in Japan. Tosoh is recognised both for the quality of their products and for their long-term relationships with Japanese automakers".
Tosoh, one of the largest chlor-alkali manufacturers in Asia, supplies plastic resins and basic chemicals. Tosoh's petrochemical operations supply ethylene, polyethylene, and functional polymers, while its advanced materials business serves the global semiconductor, display, and solar industries.
(Business Standard)

EVONIK to build U.S. silica plant


Specialty chemicals manufacturer Evonik Industries A.G. will build a world-scale plant in the U.S.A for precipitated silica, in large part to satisfy growing demand for the material from the tire industry.
Evonik said the project will involve an investment of several hundred million dollars, but the company did not disclose the expected capacity. Construction is expected to be completed by late 2017.
Using a silica-silane combination in place of carbon black, tire makers are able to produce reduced rolling-resistance tires that allow for fuel savings of up to 8% vs. conventional tires. Evonik is the only producer to offer both silica and silane.
"We are going to continue expanding our precipitated silica capacities — a global program that we started five years ago. The resource efficiency megatrend fuels the demand for our products. Interest in energy-saving tires is continuously growing in North America", said Johannes Ohmer, management member of Evonik's resource efficiency segment. "That is why we are planning to build the plant close to our customers — the large tire manufacturers".
(tirebusiness.com)

AKZO to build new plant in Thailand


AkzoNobel has announced plans to invest more than EUR 30 million in a manufacturing facility in Thailand to support regional growth of its Performance Coatings business.
The project, which is being supported by the Thailand Board of Investment, involves constructing a 120,000 square meters site within the Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate in Chonburi. Earmarked for an initial capacity of 45,000 MT/y, production is due to start in the third quarter of 2016.
"By investing in this new facility we are supporting our continued growth within Thailand, as well as making progress with our regional business expansion strategy", explained Ab Ghosh, Managing Director of AkzoNobel's Metal Coatings business. "A number of existing operations will be consolidated into the new site, allowing us to achieve world class operational standards".
(chemeurope.com)

Global Forum : PEPP 2015


The 23rd annual Polyethylene/Poplypropylene Technology & Business Forum (PEPP) will take place in Zurich, Switzerland, between June 2-4.
PEPP 2015 will focus on key business and technology issues facing the world-wide polyethylene and polypropylene producers, with its inevitable impact on Europe.
Presentations by major companies will highlight global polymer supply/demand, with increasing importance of shale gas production. Spotlights will include increases in Middle East capacities, shifts of production locations to North America, and coal-based polyolefin advances in China.
Presentation topic areas will include global polyolefins market analysis, PE and PP market, applications and process technologies. The 23rd annual PEPP 2015 conference will bring together both the business perspective and the technology and applications side of the petrochemical and polymers industry.
(CVENT)


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