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Message in a bottle….boat!

Some time this year, David de Rothschild and a crew of experts and scientists will set sail 12,000 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney in a boat made of plastic bottles and other recycled waste products.

The boat, named Plastiki, is inspired by Thor Heyerdal's 1947 Kontiki, which was a reproduction of an Indian Inca raft. The modern version will be an 18 m catamaran with a hull constructed from 12,000 recycled PET bottles and various other gadgets like solar panels and wind turbines.

The 30-something David is a modern day adventurer (the youngest Briton to have reached both the North and South poles) with a conscience and, of course, with lots of money to spare (he is a scion of the Rothschild Bank)! He runs an educational organisation known as Adventure Ecology, which is leading the Plastiki expedition, and has also authored a handbook titled “Global Warming Survival”.

The aim of the expedition is “to draw attention to the sustainable design process that created and built the Plastiki.” Plus to make its point, the boat will sail through a number of fragile and ecologically challenged regions, including what is known as the world’s largest waste dump (the Eastern Garbage Patch), which is a concentration of marine debris comprising the highest levels of plastic items that have been trapped by currents in the Pacific Ocean.
“It is our aim to captivate, inspire and activate tomorrow's environmental thinkers and doers to take positive action for our planet and to be smart with waste. Ultimately, we hope to inspire people to rethink waste as a valuable resource. One person's waste could be another person's treasure,” says a message posted on the website.

Editor’s note: At press time, the boat was still under construction. If you’d like to find out more about the success of this sailing feat visit www.adventureecology.com

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E-News Update
April 2009

Buyer found for nylon business

Cincinnati to invest in facility

exhibition news
rubber journal asia
injection moulding asia
polyurethanes asia


Lead Feature

Bullish about prospects

Since the beginning of the year chemical companies have been on a roller coaster ride in the global market. Nevertheless, some companies are still continuing to maintain a hold on their businesses, especially in Asia.

At the Plastindia show held in February, PRA caught up with John Verity, Vice-President of Polyolefins, ExxonMobil Chemical, to find out more about the company’s prospects in this part of the world.
click here for full story


Company News

Cincinnati to invest in facility
Even with the global meltdown and lower sales expected in extrusion lines, Cincinnati Extrusion is setting aside EUR3 million investment in its facility in Vienna, Austria.
click here for full story

Buyer found for nylon business
US company Solutia has found a buyer for its nylon business. It will be sold to an affiliate of SK Capital Partners II, a New York-based private equity firm that is focused on the chemical, material and health care sectors.
click here for full story

Business as usual for Chemtura
The US Bankruptcy Court has approved Chemtura’s voluntary filing, allowing it to continue normal business during its restructuring while under Chapter 11 protection. The filing affects only its US operations.
click here for full story


Lower capacities from chemical companies
While BASF will shut down its ethylene cracker for three months, US-based Nova Chemicals will reduce its expandable polystyrene (EPS) capacity at one of its plants.
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Completion of formalities for acquisitions
While Dow Chemical has completed its acquisition of Rohm & Haas, BASF expects to complete its purchase of Ciba to be through by this month.
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Feedstock shortage reduces output
Equate Petrochemical, majority owned by Dow Chemical and Kuwait's Petrochemical Industries Co (PIC), says it has suffered reduced output because of a feedstock shortage.
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Materials News

Nano fever on a high with new introductions
US company PolyNew and Germany-based BASF are two of the materials suppliers that are pitching new nanocomposites.
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Plastics use growing in agriculture
Plastics may be getting bad press in some areas but in agriculture they are contributing to feeding the world with films used to extend the growing season and raise yield. With 3.6 million tonnes of film used last year, 60% of this was in Asia.
click here for full story

Palm oil-based additives for wood composites
With the trend towards wood plastic composites growing, Malaysian supplier of speciality chemicals Performance Additives has introduced Ultraplast WF additive, thus expanding its existing portfolio for the plastic industry.
click here for full story



Machinery News

Extrusion specialists to target Asia
Profile tooling provider Greiner Extrusion and extrusion machinery supplier KraussMaffei Berstorff are to further intensify their long-term cooperation, which they have had since the 1990s, to ride out the downturn.
click here for full story


Exhibition News

Fewer but quality visitors at Tyrexpo Asia
The seventh staging of TyrexpoAsia in Singapore, from 24-26 March, proved to be a success in the light of the global recession, according to the organiser ECI International.
click here for full story 

Tiprex to benefit from upbeat mood in Thailand
North of Singapore in Thailand, another exhibition, Tiprex 2009, will ride on the tail end of the economic slowdown in the country, when things are expected to start picking up.
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Utech show performs above expectations

Utech Europe, held from 31 March to 2 April in Maastricht, Netherlands, was another show that had an “exceptional attendance”.
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Rubber Journal Asia

New plant in India inaugurated
Since March rubber injection moulding machinery supplier Desma has started producing in India, near Ahmedabad, in a new factory.
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Rhein Chemie sales drop
Rubber chemicals producer Rhein Chemie ended the 2008 financial year with lower sales of EUR281 million, compared to EUR295 million in the previous year.
click here for full story

. Injection Moulding Asia

China’s machinery makers ride the downturn
While Haitian International Holdings released unfavourable results for 2008, Chen Hsong has issued a profit warning.
click here for full story


Polyurethanes Asia       

Eco-friendly flexible foams
Upon completion of its 60,000 tonnes/year world-scale facility for polymer-filled polyether polyols (PMPOs) in Antwerp, Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) will offer new opportunities for flexible foam producers.
click here for full story

BMS invests in India
In other news, BMS is to invest EUR20 million in a new aromatic and aliphatic polyisocyanate facility in India as part of its strategy to grow its business in the country and strengthen its position as a market leader in the supply of PU raw materials.
click here for full story

Non-HFC blowing agents
Arkema i
s in the process of developing HFO, fourth generation blowing agents to replace HFCs, for PU and polyisocyanurate insulating foams.
The new materials are a series of zero ODP and low GWP blowing solutions that feature a similar blowing efficiency and provide some improvement in dimensional stability as well as a significant advantage on k-factor versus actual HFCs and hydrocarbons. The company announced this in a conference paper presented at the Utech exhibition in Maastricht, the Netherlands, recently.

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