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E-News Update
April 2011
PRA March-April 2011 Electronic Issue
Now Available


Lead Feature

Catering to the needs of the industry

Indonesian masterbatch supplier PT Inter Aneka Lestari Kimia knows that plastic products have become an integral part of our lives and to meet the growing technology, suitable materials are required. It is for this reason that the company has entered into the bio-resin market, having innovated a biodegradable resin. It is said to be more economical than PLA in blown film applications. The product is targeted at the plastic bag market.

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Company News

Market optimism influences Solvay's takeover of Rhodia
Belgian chemicals company Solvay is acquiring France-based speciality chemical supplier Rhodia for US$4.8 billion. The deal comes against the back of other major takeovers - BASF bought Cognis for US$4.3 billion last year and is undertaking the integration process. More recently, US billionaire Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway purchased lubricant/chemical maker Lubrizol for US$9.2 billion.
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Styron and Evonik to go public and name change for Styron
US-based Styron Corp is planning an IPO, less than nine months after private equity firm Bain Capital bought it from Dow Chemical for US$1.63 billion. Meanwhile, German chemicals firm Evonik Industries's owner RAG is also contemplating a similar move of an IPO.
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BASF gets go ahead for MDI
US-based Styron Corp is planning an IPO, less than nine months after private equity firm Bain Capital bought it from Dow Chemical for US$1.63 billion. Meanwhile, German chemicals firm Evonik Industries's owner RAG is also contemplating a similar move of an IPO.
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BMS to expand MDI in Germany
Another German supplier focusing on MDI is Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) that plans to invest EUR100 million to expand its capacity to 420,000 tonnes/year at the Bayer Brunsbüttel Industrial Park in Germany.
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Set up for R&D in China
US-based ExxonMobil Chemical has officially opened its US$90 million Shanghai Technology Centre in Zizhu Science-Based Industrial Park.
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Taiwanese company buys American SBC supplier
Taiwanese TPE supplier TSRC Corporation has completed the US$168 million acquisition of US-based Dexco Polymers, a joint venture equally owned by ExxonMobil Chemical and Dow Chemical, that manufactures styrene-isoprene-styrene (SIS) and styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) block co-polymers.
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In Brief
Graham Packaging sale to create a global leader in packaging
American global packaging company Graham Packaging is to be acquired by a consumer goods packaging producer Silgan Holdings for US$4.2 billion. The combined company will be a global food and speciality beverage packaging leader with combined sales of US$6.2 billion, 17,000 employees and 180 plants in 19 countries. Under the terms of the merger agreement, each outstanding share of Graham Packaging common stock will be converted into the right to receive US$4.75 in cash and 0.402 shares of Silgan common stock, subject to the terms of the merger agreement. Based on the closing price of Silgan stock as of April 12, 2011, the stock component is valued at US$14.81 per share. The transaction provides immediate value to Graham Packaging shareholders through the cash component as well as continued participation in the future prospects of the combined company through their ownership of approximately 29% of Silgan's shares.


Doubling sales from pharma buy
To strengthen its position in the South American market, pharmaceutical and healthcare systems manufacturer Gerresheimer is acquiring Védat, a Brazilian manufacturer of pharmaceutical packaging and closures. The company says the move is in line with its strategy of doubling sales in the emerging markets from EUR100-200 million by 2013. Gerresheimer already has three plants in Brazil and one in Argentina.


German takeover of Italian films
German packaging films producer Klöckner Pentaplast has acquired the rigid films business of the Italian company AMB, which comprises PP, PS mono and multi-layer rigid films for food packaging and thermoforming applications. AMB will also continue to manufacture its other blown and flexible film products at its San Daniele del Friuli plant in Italy. The rigid barrier films are used for vacuum and modified-atmosphere packaging as well as for form-fill-seal lines in the pharmaceutical and food sectors and for technical applications. AMB was founded in 1968 and exports 60% of its output. Founded in 1965, Klöckner Pentaplast is owned by affiliates of New York-based Blackstone Group.


Greiner ups its renewable energy interest
Austrian moulder Greiner Holding is expanding its stake in the renewable energy market with the purchase of an 80% stake in both Xolar and Sun Master Energiesysteme and 90% shareholding of SOLution Beteiligungs. It will pay EUR9 million for shares in all three Austrian technology companies that will be integrated into its technology and innovation division, joining Greiner Perfoam, Greiner PURtec, Greiner Aerospace and weba. Greiner is also participating in Johannes Kepler University's SolPol project, which focuses on developing plastic solar collectors.


Brazilian buys PS business
In the US, Styron has sold its PS plant in São Paulo to Gaxetas e Perfis do Brasil, a part of Brazilian petrochemicals company Grupo Unigel, which previously had supplied styrene monomer feedstock to the PS plant. No purchase price was disclosed in the deal, which closed last year. The PS plant was included in Dow Chemical's spin-off and sale of Styron to Bain Capital last year.


Warren Buffet takes stake in Lubrizol
US-based speciality chemicals company Lubrizol has been sold 100% to American billionaire Warren Buffet's investment firm Berkshire Hathaway for US$9.7 billion. Once the deal is completed during the third quarter of 2011, Lubrizol will operate as a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway and will remain located at its Wickliffe, Ohio, headquarters. Lubrizol owns and operates facilities in 17 countries as well as sales and technical offices around the world. Founded in 1928, Lubrizol has approximately 6,900 employees worldwide. Revenues for 2010 were US$5.4 billion.


PA6 facility in Middle East
US-based Jacobs Engineering will provide engineering, procurement and construction management services for a PA 6.6 facility in Al-Jubail in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It signed a contract with the Saudi Industrial Investment Group and Arabian Chevron Phillips Petrochemical. The facility will be built using technology licensed from a leading producer of PA6.6.


Asahi to expand US capacity
Japanese Asahi Kasei Chemicals is investing US$5.5 million to expand its capacity in the US by 30%. The company will add new peripheral device, a compounding line and expand its laboratory for enhanced R&D. The company's new investment follows the recent US$3 million upgrading for existing manufacturing lines to meet the growth for its Xyron (mPPE) and Leona (PA66+61and PA66) engineering plastics. The next capacity expansion is slated for 2012. The company says it has experienced a 300% growth since its inception.


Dow manages its portfolio
US chemical company Dow Chemical has put all its plastic divisions into one unit known as Performance Plastics. It will include Solution Polyethylene, Wire & Cable, Elastomers and Films and Packaging Resins units as well as its Packaging and Converting Unit, which had been part of the Advanced Materials Division. The move is in line with Dow's portfolio management efforts it has been undertaking over the last two years. The company is also moving away from commodity plastics and was the reason why it divested its Styron styrenics unit.


Lanxess goes to the Middle East
German speciality chemicals group Lanxess is expanding its global presence and has founded a dedicated company for the Middle East. Lanxess Middle East is headquartered in Dubai. The company currently supplies customers in the Middle East primarily with speciality chemicals, colour pigments for the construction industry and high-tech plastics and rubbers.


Solvay appoints Asian distributor
Solvay Advanced Polymers has appointed Taiwanese Link Upon Advanced Material as distributor for its KetaSpire PEEK and AvaSpire PAEK resins in Asia. Link Upon supplies high-performance engineering thermoplastics and has a broad range of processing expertise in injection moulding, extrusion, machining, assembly, product design and mould design.



Materials News

Malaysian jv to produce super-absorbent polymers
German chemicals supplier BASF and Malaysian oil company Petronas will commence a feasibility study for a new plant for super-absorbent polymers in Malaysia. The companies have also decided to look into expanding existing capacities of acrylic acid and butanediol of their joint venture BASF Petronas Chemicals.
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No more BPA bottles in Malaysia next year
The Malaysian government will ban PC baby bottles containing bisphenol A (BPA), in stages starting now until next year.
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Sibur to increase ethylene/TPE capacity
Russian petrochemical supplier Sibur's subsidiary Sibur-Neftekhim is investing US$306 million to expand its ethylene capacity to 430,000 tonnes/year at its Nizhny Novgorod plant. In TPE, it is doubling its capacity to 85,000 tonnes/year at its plant in Voronezh.
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NatureWorks to set up facility in Asia
US-based NatureWorks will sell Ingeo packaging resin grades directly to Taiwanese customers. Also, due to the significant demand for Ingeo biopolymer in Asia, NatureWorks is seeking a location in Asia for its second world-scale Ingeo facility.
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Eastman and Oxea add on plasticiser capacity
US-based Eastman Chemical has expanded capacity of its 168 non-phthalate plasticiser at its Kingsport facility by 10%. Meanwhile, German Oxea will expand its capacity for its ester plasticiser by 40% in Germany.
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EU control on phthalates and Eastman to stop producing
Phthalates used in plastics have now been placed under a special European Union (EU) control list that will ban them from 2015 unless a specific function has been authorised by the European Commission. Meanwhile, US company Eastman Chemical will no longer manufacture two of its ortho-phthalate plasticisers
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Resin for pipes and tanks
With more than 20% of the world to be affected by water scarcity in the next 20 years and supply of clean water as well as safe management of waste water to become more crucial, Dutch company DSM has introduced a composite resin specifically for use in composite applications that have contact with food and water.
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In Brief

More PVDF for Solvay
Based on the global demand for polyvinylidene fluoride, which has grown by more than 10% every year in the last five years, Belgian Solvay will increase its capacity for Solef by 50% at its plant in France. The company will invest EUR26 million in the expansion that will be come on stream in 2012. The plant was also expanded by 30% in 2009. An advantage Solvay has in its fluoropolymer production is an upstream integration into fluorspar and monomers. The company recently expanded its fluorspar capacity by buying a mine in Bulgaria.


Speeding up CNT for commercial use
To speed up the commercialisation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), CNT producer Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has signed a license agreement with Hyperion Catalysis International to develop new application areas. BMS has also made some payments to Hyperion that will allow it to sell its Baytubes CNTs for use within a defined field under Hyperion's patent portfolio. Hyperion has been selling its Fibril multiwall CNTs for various applications since 1983. The nanotubes are used to impart electrical conductivity.


Machinery News

Battenfeld wins litigation against Chinese manufacturer
After a seven year battle, Battenfeld-Cincinnati (Foshan) Extrusion Systems has won its intellectual property rights case against Donghua Machinery.
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Micromoulding machine at R&D centre
Having exhibited it first at the K2010 show last year, Wittmann Battenfeld has sold its first MicroPower moulding machine to the RKT Centre for Polymer, Micro and Nano Technology at Bradford, UK.
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Coperion scores in UAE
German company Coperion landed the largest contract in its history, worth EUR100 million, in the fourth quarter of 2010. The contract, awarded by Abu Dhabi National Oil and Borealis joint venture Borouge, is to undertake the materials handling systems for the third expansion of a polyolefins plant in Ruwais, United Arab Emirates.
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German company expands its reach
Supplier of bulk solids metering equipment Schenck Process is expanding its product range and reach with a stake in UK-based Clyde Process Solutions, a supplier of air filtration, pneumatic conveying and injection technologies.
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Tube lines for wider range
UK-based Boston Matthews has introduced a new range of medium-speed Squeeze Tube extrusion lines for the production of thinwall PE tubes from 15-60 mm.
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Italian machine sales do better than expected
The Italian plastics and rubber machinery association Assocomaplast says the final figures for 2010 show a firm recovery, higher than expected in previous forecasts. It saw production value increase by more than 9%, which is higher than the 8% it forecast.
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Exhibition News

PU show in the right place and at the right time!
The balance of power has shifted as strongly in the PU industry, as in most areas of global business, with Asia now the world's driving force. The Utech Asia/PU China 2011 exhibition and conference is being held against this backdrop from 6-8 September in the Shanghai New International Convention Centre, Pudong, Shanghai.
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. Injection Moulding Asia

Zotefoams to acquire Mucell Extrusion
Zotefoams has exercised its option to purchase 100% of MuCell Extrusion, a business initially spun off from US-based Trexel in 2008 and which Zotefoams owned 30%.
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Haitian hits new sales record
China's largest injection moulding machine manufacturer Haitian sold 30,000 machines worldwide in 2010. Its turnover also increased by more than 80% to around US$1 billion, for the first time.
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Chen Hsong to make large machines
Hong Kong-based Chen Hsong Holdings will make large two-platen hydraulic injection moulding machines using technology it has licensed from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Plastic Technology of Japan. The company, which will make the machines at its facility in China, will sell them in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
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Electric alternative to hydraulic machine
German injection moulding machinery maker Arburg introduced a new entry-level version of its Allrounder Alldrive line of all-electric machines recently at an open house it held at its headquarters at Lossburg.
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