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Resins & Coatings

News Review

28

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Stagnant growth for the EU chemicals sector


European chemical output grew 0.3% during the first four months of 2015, compared to the same period of 2014, according to the latest CEFIC Chemicals Trends Report, while producer prices fell 6.0%, year-on-year.
Latest monthly data show output growth of 0.7% in April 2015 compared with April 2014, while EU chemicals prices decreased 4.9%. Confidence in chemicals increased in May 2015 compared to April of the same year. Production expectations for the months ahead contributed largely to this improvement. The EU net trade surplus narrowed to EUR 9.9 billion during the first quarter of 2015, down by EUR 1.3 billion compared to the same period one year ago.
CEFIC Director General Hubert Mandery said: "These figures show that the real economy is still not growing. In Europe, we need EU policymakers to start walking their talk on competitiveness, jobs and growth".
Total EU chemical sales dropped 5.2% during Q1 of 2015 compared to the same period one year ago. Sales in March 2015 grew by 1% compared to February of the same year. This is the first increase in sales after five consecutive declines (month-on-month).
(CEFIC)

BP starts world's largest PTA unit


BP celebrated the official startup of the Phase 3 purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant of Zhuhai Chemical Co., enhancing its position in the purified terephthalic acid market and its longterm commitment in China. PTA is the essential raw material for making polyesters, and is extensively used in producing textiles, packaging and film products.
The completed Phase 3 plant, with a design production capacity of 1.25 million MT/year, is said to be the world's largest single-train PTA unit. Zhuhai Phase 3 is the first site to use BP's most recent version of its PTA technology. Compared with conventional technology, Zhuhai 3 is highly energy efficient and delivers 95% lower solid waste, 65% lower greenhouse gas emissions and 75% lower water discharge.
Nick Elmslie, chief executive of BP's Petrochemical Business, said: "Technology is one of the key drivers for BP's success. And this latest unit employs BP's most advanced PTA manufacturing technology that will enable us to deliver high-quality products to our customers with higher operational efficiency and environmental performance".
(Chemical Engineering)

Uncertain future for BRASKEM as PETROBRAS plans divestitures


Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico reported earlier this week that state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or "Petrobras", could sell its stake in Braskem, as part of its divestiture plan, if it finds an interested buyer.
Petrobras announced in June it would sell assets worth USD 15.1 billion in 2015-16, and another USD 42.6 billion in 2017-18. The company is trying to improve financial results after posting a net loss of BRL 21.6 billion in 2014 and a write down of BRL 6.2 billion linked to losses attributed to a corruption scandal.
Some Petrobras' executives have been arrested as part of the corruption probe, which is investigating overpricing contracts at the oil company and payoffs to executives and government officials.
Selling its stake in Braskem would make sense for Petrobras, as the oil company has emphasised a desire to focus on core businesses that does not include petrochemicals. Petrobras is one of Braskem's largest stakeholders, with a 36.1% stake in its total capital.
(Plastics & Rubber Weekly)

BASF sells J/V stake to SOLVAY


BASF sold its 25% share in the joint venture (JV) SolVin to Solvay. The transaction took place on July 1, 2015 and financial details were not disclosed.
In addition, BASF has reached agreements with Solvay and Inovyn to continue to supply BASF's site in Antwerp with basic chemicals.
SolVin was established in 1999 as a 75-25 JV between Solvay and BASF in the area of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
(Chemical Engineering)

TROY acquires industrial biocides from ASHLAND


Troy Corp., has completed the previously announced acquisition of the industrial biocides business from Ashland Inc.
Ashland Specialty Ingredients industrial biocides business was formerly owned and operated by ISP Inc., which Ashland acquired in 2011.
Troy will handle Ashland's product lines that serve the paint and coatings, metalworking fluids, energy, and plastics market segments. Ashland's Consumer Specialties business unit, which includes preservatives for the personal care market segment, is not part of the agreement with Troy.
Ashland is a global company operating in more than 100 countries and providing innovative products and services that add value to things that people use or come into contact with every day. The chemistries provided enable pharmaceuticals that excel in form and function, anti-aging ingredients in skin-care products, more sustainable building products, lighter yet stronger wind-turbine blades and advanced recycled motor oils that reduce energy consumption.
(PCI)

UMICORE and SOLVAY sell their J/V to TORAY


Umicore N.V. and Solvay S.A. announced that they have sold their respective 50% stakes in joint venture SolviCore to Japanese chemical company Toray.
Since its inception in 2006, SolviCore has built up a strong portfolio of clients for its membrane electrode assemblies used in fuel cells and proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis. SolviCore will benefit from Toray's expertise in fuel-cell materials and experience in mass production and will remain based in the Hanau-Wolfgang Industriepark near Frankfurt.
Both Solvay and Umicore will continue to be active in the fuel-cell material market. Solvay will focus on its core competence in advanced materials that will enable key innovation in the fuel cell industry for mobility, stationary and other markets. Umicore will focus on its core competence in catalysis and continue to develop and commercialize electro-catalysts for the fuel cell industry.
(Chemical Engineering)

PPG completes expansion in Germany


PPG Industries, Inc. announced the completion of a USD 5 million expansion at its coatings manufacturing facility in Wuppertal, Germany. The project added equipment to existing buildings on the campus, supporting up to a 35% increase in annual production capacity of environmentally sustainable waterborne coatings for automotive and industrial applications. The facility, which employs more than 190 people, plans to hire employees to manage the increased capacity.
The additional capacity will enable PPG to meet increasing demand for its waterborne coatings by automotive manufacturers and industrial customers in the region. In addition to a heightened focus throughout Europe on using sustainable products and practices, waterborne-coatings demand is being driven by adoption of compact-paint-process technologies by automotive manufacturers in Europe. Compact paint processes reduce the number of steps needed to paint a vehicle, enabling manufacturers to reduce energy used during the process and downsize the space required for the paint process in a manufacturing facility.
(Chemical Engineering)

IGM Resins acquires LAMBERTI photoinitiator business


IGM Resins has acquired the Photoinitiator business of LAMBERTI on 30 June 2015.
The acquisition adds to IGM's technical development capabilities and brings an advantaged product line that includes materials compliant with US FDA and stringent European regulatory requirements, which are complementary to the company's extensive photoinitiator offerings. IGM Resins is a portfolio company of Arsenal Capital Partners.
"We are excited to have the Lamberti team join IGM and expand our already broad range of specialty and all-purpose photoinitiators with the 'Esacure' brand products", said Edward Frindt, CEO of IGM Resins. "This acquisition, along with the recent addition of IHT in August 2014, further moves IGM into the forefront of developing next-generation safe and easy-to-use photoinitiators for UV inks, coatings and specialty markets. It also increases our ability to expand capacity and sales to a growing market".
(European Coatings)

IMERYS to acquire SOLVAY's PCC business


Imerys has entered into exclusive negotiations with Solvay to acquire its PCC (precipitated calcium carbonates) division comprised of four plants in Europe (Germany, Austria, France and the United Kingdom).
This business serves mainly the automotive (polymers, etc.), building (paints, coatings, sealants) and consumer goods markets (health & beauty, etc.) through specialty applications. It generated EUR 59 million revenue in 2014. The conclusion of this operation is subject to prior consultation with employee representatives and approval by the relevant regulatory authorities. Its completion should become effective during the second half of 2015.
(Coatings World)

Acrylic coatings market to grow above 4% until 2019


Technavio has added a new report on the global acrylic surface coatings market 2015-2019 for which analysts estimate a growth rate of above 4% till 2019.
"With the development of non-slip flooring and increasing applicability of hybrid coatings, it is not surprising that the construction industry segment accounts for 57% of the total acrylics market revenue for the period of 2014-2019", says Sriram Mohan, Lead Analyst, Chemicals and Materials, Technavio Research. These non-slip coatings contain a crystal clear polycarbonate aggregate and find application in both interior and exterior surfaces. This coating is exceptionally durable and its advantages include fade resistance and non-yellowing high gloss finish. This first of a kind acrylic coating is expected to gain wide acceptance with time.
A segment to look out for, is the construction industry sector, which analysts predict is going to grow due to the increasing rate of urbanization in the EMEA region, the North American region and the Americas. The leading companies in the global acrylic surface coatings market are Axalta, BASF, DOW Chemicals, Nippon, PPG, Sherwin-Williams and Valspar.
(Coatings World)


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