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In this Edition
April 2012
PRA May 2012
Electronic Issue

Now Available


Lead Feature

Greening the automotive sector

Christof Krogmann, Vice-President for Lanxess's Semi-Crystalline Products business unit in Asia Pacific

German chemical firm Lanxess's theme for the year centres on green mobility, to help customers meet the high development needs of more environmentally responsible cars. With climate change issues and the finite supply of crude oil as a raw material, Lanxess says the use of its high-tech plastics can solve some of these problems.

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Company News

European firms commit to Asian expansions
At the recent Chinaplas show in Shanghai, Dutch firm DSM focused on its R&D capabilities in Shanghai; Solvay/Rhodia on the compounding facility in Changshu; Evonik on a biopolyamide expansion in Changchun and Borouge on the possibility of compounding expansion at the year-end.
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Malaysian petrochemical hub in the making
Come 2014, a US$1.6 billion petroleum terminal in the southeast of Johor in Malaysia, Pengerang, will be providing storage, blending and distribution services for crude/clean petroleum and will have storage facilities for petroleum products with an initial capacity of 1.3 million cu m with provisions for expansion by a further 1 million cu m.
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ExxonMobil increases supply to Asia Pacific
By 2020, two-thirds of chemical demand will come from the Asia Pacific region, driven by the rising standards of living in developing countries. Seeing this demand, US firm ExxonMobil Chemical is aggressively expanding its petrochemical operations in Asia, doubling its integrated petrochemical complex in Singapore by a capacity of 3.6 million tonnes; facility in Fujian and technology centre in Shanghai, China.
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Huntsman goes to East Europe
To strengthen its polyurethanes and performance products across Central and Eastern Europe, Huntsman Corp. has opened a new service centre in Warsaw, Poland.
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Dow on track with projects in the US
US chemicals firm Dow Chemical will build a new ethylene production plant in Freeport, Texas, by 2017 as part of its US$4 billion investment to grow its overall ethylene and propylene production capabilities in the US Gulf Coast region.
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On track with butanol
Another US firm DuPont's joint venture with BP, Butamax, is gearing up to construct its first ethanol-to-butanol conversion plant in Wilmington.
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In Brief

Arkema to sell stabiliser unit
According to a Bloomberg report, French chemicals major Arkema is firming up a deal to sell its business that makes tin stabilisers used in PVC pipe. A few months ago, Arkema announced the sale of its vinyl products business to Switzerland-based investment firm Klesch Group.


Coatings sector boosts PPG sales
Solutions provider, PPG Industries posted net sales of US$3.8 billion, up by 6% from last year's figure, with most of its sales fuelled by strong growth in the US coatings sales. The company ends the first quarter with US$1 billion of cash and short-term investments. The company's net income for the quarter was US$13 million. For Q1 2011 net sales were US$3.5 billion and net income was US$228 million, or US$1.40 per diluted share.


French firm expands in China
French firm Albéa, formerly a division of Alcan beauty packaging and now owned by Sun European Partners, has expanded in China by acquiring three plants. The firm has bought Zhongshan Meiquan Plastic Products from a company called Tex RL group.Terms were not disclosed. The Chinese operations are based in Guangdong province and makes beauty packaging including mascara, lip gloss, lipstick, pots and cases. With this, the firm will have five plants in China. Albéa makes laminate tubes, mascara and eyeliner packaging and other plastic and metal beauty packaging products.


US firm to blow mould in Thailand
Walbro Engine Management has set up a multi-layer fuel tank blow moulding plant in Chonburi, Thailand. The firm says the 20,000 sq ft plant will help customers deal with regulations that require tanks to meet more stringent clean air standards. The plant will supply tanks used in lawn and garden, recreational and marine applications to customers in the Asia Pacific region. The US firm produces six-layer tanks with a vapour barrier to contain hydrocarbon emissions.




Materials News

Songwon bolsters OPS capacity
South Korean additives supplier Songwon Industrial Group has commissioned an additional 7,000 tonnes capacity for its One Pack Systems (OPS) products, to be up and running in mid-2012.
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Silver additive for products
US-based compounder RTP will use Nanobiomatters Industries' patented Bactiblock silver-based antimicrobial technology in its line of antimicrobial products.
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ECH facility up in Thailand
Vinythai, a subsidiary of Solvay, has commissioned its 100,000 tonnes/year epichlorohydrin (ECH) plant in Map Ta Phut. It uses refined glycerin for feedstock via Solvay's Epicerol technology.
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Updates to nonwovens by Dow and Conductive
Dow Europe has introduced a new experimental LLDPE for mono and bi-component spun-bound hygiene and nonwoven applications while a US firm Conductive Composites has commercialised nickel chemical vapour deposition coated nonwovens and has doubled its production capacity for the new materials
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Water-based adhesive for acrylic resins
Japanese Emulsion Technology, a group company of JSR Corporation that manufactures and sells emulsion chemical products, has developed a new water-based adhesive that can be used for plastic base material, further broadening its reach to the market for acrylic resin emulsion adhesives.
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Chinese plant for TPEs
Tessenderlo Group has opened a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compounding plant in Changsu to produce high-performance TPEs and slush moulding compounds for automotive applications. The unit operates as CTS Automotive Compounds (Changsu) Ltd.
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BMS innovates green process for foams
German firm Bayer MaterialScience (BMS), together with its industry partners and academia, has discovered a way to convert greenhouse gas - carbon dioxide - into a raw material. The result is polyether polycarbonate polyols, which the company has now further developed for use in flexible foam products such as mattresses.
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Film for MAPs with improved gas barrier
US-based ExxonMobil Chemical has introduced a 21-micron Bicor MB866 OPP film with a polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) coating on one side and an acrylic coating on the reverse, with improved gas barrier properties and high transparency for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) of fruits and nuts, cereals, snacks, roasted coffees, pet foods. It is currently available in Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
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Machinery News

German firms expand capacities
While Germany-based temperature control equipment supplier Single Temperiertechnik has expanded production capacity at its Hochdorf facility near Stuttgart, mould/tooling company Hasco is investing EUR300 million to boost capacity at its Lüdenscheid site.
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Scientex in the running as largest CPE film maker
US-based extrusion film maker Gloucester Engineering (GEC) is supplying two cast stretch (CPE) film lines to Malaysia film maker Scientex. The firm says it will be its highest output stretch film line ever sold in the Asia-Pacific region, with Scientex's total output to reach over 150,000 tonnes/year when the lines have been commissioned.
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Exhibition News

US market on the upturn
With signs pointing to a pick-up in the US economy, it was not surprising that the recently-held NPE exhibition in Orlando, Florida, substantially exceeded the 2009 show in terms of size and visitors. According to the organiser of the show SPI, the event attracted more participants from outside the US, especially China, representing 16% of total exhibitors.
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Chinaplas hits visitor mark
This year's Chinaplas attracted a total of 109,858 visitors, a 16.7% increase over last year's 94,084. Exhibitors suggested increasing the duration of the show from four to five days, lamenting that the show has reached a size (210,000 sq m) comparable to the largest plastics show K, which runs for eight days.
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. Injection Moulding Asia

Machine manufacturers go for large
During the recent Chinaplas event, it became evident which elements in the injection moulding business manufacturers are expected to put more emphasis in 2012. In their respective booths, Germany-based Ferromatik Milacron and Krauss Maffei presented large machines and spoke about capacity increases while Engel, which had sales of EUR100 million in Asia for the first time, inaugurated its expanded large-scale machine plant in Shanghai.
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Nylon in short supply for auto makers
German chemical firm Evonik is working to repair its cyclododecatriene (CDT) plant at Marl, by December, following an explosion in March that killed two workers. CDT is used to make laurolactam, a feedstock of PA12. The blast has resulted in an estimated 40% worldwide shortage of PA12, used primarily by automotive makers.
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Fastest closure machine in the world
At the recent Chinaplas, Husky Injection Molding Systems introduced its HyCAP High Performance Package (HPP) system, said to be the world's fastest for moulding beverage closures with a 1.8 second cycle for a 72-cavity mould. To be commercialised in 2013, the system was shown only to journalists and prospective clients with Husky closely guarding its mould system.
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Mold-Masters expands to Latin America
Mold-Masters has signed an exclusive agent agreement with Plastec USA to handle product sales and service for the Latin American region - this includes Central and South American regions including Mexico but excluding countries where Mold-Masters already has sales representations.
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MuCell lightweighting technology bags award
MuCell foam technology innovator Trexel received the Emerging Technology Award at the 2nd International Plastics Design competition held during NPE for a 3D IML margarine tub injection-moulded of EPP using the process.
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