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E-News Update
May 2011
PRA May 2011 Electronic Issue
Now Available


Lead Feature

Thai company to play a role in bioplastics development

Thailand-based PTT Polymer Marketing (PTTPM), the marketing and sales/service arm of the petrochemicals and downstream PTT Group, has its work cut out for it. This is because besides the HDPE and LLDPE resins its parent company produces, it has now entered the bioplastics arena and PTTPM will be marketing these as well.

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Company News

Upstream Japanese-Middle Eastern jv
SABIC, Asahi Kasei Chemicals and Mitsubishi have set up Saudi Japanese Acrylonitrile (SHROUQ) to establish a plant with a capacity for 200,000 tonnes/year of acrylonitrile (AN) and 40,000 tonnes/year of sodium cyanide (NaCN) in Saudi Arabia.
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Ticona to ramp up output in China
US-based Ticona, the engineering polymers business of Celanese, will expand capacity of its Celstran long fibre-reinforced thermoplastic (LFRT) in Nanjing to 10,000 tonnes/year by the end of this year.
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BMS to expand PC output and invest in US PU site
Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) is planning to increase its PC capacity at its Krefeld-Uerdingen site in Germany by 20%. It is also investing US$120 million into its Baytown, Texas, site to upgrade its TDI/MDI facilities.
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Teknor puts all under one name
US-based Teknor Apex has changed the name of its Singapore-based compounding company to Teknor Apex Asia Pacific from Singapore Polymer Corporation (SPC).
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Indonesian company to sell CCL labels and tubes
US-based speciality packaging solution provider for the consumer products and healthcare industries CCL Industries has signed a license agreement with an Indonesian producer of pressure-sensitive labels and tubes.
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Clariant closes Süd-Chemie acquisition
Swiss speciality chemicals company Clariant has completed the purchase of 96.15% of shares in process catalysts and adsorbent agents company Süd-Chemie from One Equity Partners and the family shareholders.
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South Korean company to provide engineering service
Saudi Organometallic Chemicals, a joint venture equally owned by SABIC affiliate Saudi Specialty Chemical and Albemarle Netherlands has appointed Samsung Engineering to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the SOCC Aluminum Alkyls facility in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.
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Dow to increase liquid epoxy capacity in Germany
US-based Dow Epoxy, a business unit of Dow Chemical, plans to expand its production of liquid epoxy resin (LER) at its Stade site in Germany by 30,000 tonnes in 2012. The increase will add on 10% more to its global LER capacity.
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Momentive in phenolic jv in China
US company Momentive Specialty Chemicals is teaming up with Chinese speciality chemicals supplier UPC Technology Corporation to build a phenolic resin facility in Jiangsu province, to cater to the strong demand from the automotive and consumer markets.
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DuPont to invest in Dutch facility for speciality copolymers
DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers will increase capacity for its speciality copolymers at its site in Dordrecht, Netherlands. This is to meet the strong demand for its adhesive and modifier resins as well as lidding sealants used in packaging, construction and industrial markets.
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Petronas seeks partners for integrated project
Malaysia's national oil company Petronas's plans to develop a US$20 billion integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in the southern state of Johor will be done with partnerships. It will comprise a 300,000 barrels/day crude oil refinery, a naphtha cracker with capacity for 3 million tonnes of ethylene, propylene, C4 and C5 olefins and a joint petrochemical development with a combined capacity of 3 million tonnes/year.
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Materials News

Better insulation from Total's EPS
By 2013, French company Total Petrochemicals will start manufacturing a new generation of expandable polystyrene (EPS), with improved technical and insulating properties compared to conventional white EPS.
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Unfilled TPI and improved LLDPE from Sabic
Sabic Innovative Plastics has extended its range of Extem thermoplastic polyimide (TPI) resins with a new grade able to withstand high temperatures. Sabic has also introduced an LLDPE grade with improved properties for cast film use.
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New polymers for use as plastic electronics
A lecturer in the US is researching organic polymers that mimic the properties of traditional inorganic semiconductors so that these polymers can be used in applications like solar cells, light-emitting diodes and thin-film transistors.
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Microlayer technology increases barrier packaging prope
A patent-pending technique developed by US-based Extrusion Dies Industries (EDI) is said to extend barrier properties beyond the limits of standard test procedures. Called "active microlayer" technology, it combines active packaging and microlayer extrusion, yielding film and sheet in which layer multiplication is applied not only to the barrier polymer but also to active components such as oxygen absorbers or desiccants.
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Self-healing polymers for the future
A polymer-based material capable of repairing itself in less than a minute when exposed to ultraviolet light has been developed by a team of researchers at the Adolphe Merkle Institute of the University of Freiburg in Switzerland.
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Taiwanese venture for protective film supplier
Due to the increasing demand for LCD flat panel televisions, Japanese supplier Toray Advanced Film says it will set up a surface protection film plant in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to start up by 2013.
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New resin for ultra-thin film an alternative to PEEK
Solvay Advanced Polymers has introduced a polyaryletherketone (PAEK) grade designed for the extrusion of ultra-thin film to thicknesses as low as 6 microns, as an alternative to PEEK.
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PolyOne develops vinyls and opens R&D centre
Though PVC resins are not at a developmental stage, PolyOne has announced what it says is a "breakthrough development in formulating vinyl plastisols." The US company also recently opened an innovation centre at its Ohio headquarters.
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In Brief

Chinese encapsulant facility
Belgian chemical supplier Solutia has opened a new manufacturing centre for Vistasolar ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) films in Suzhou. The centre will supply Vistasolar EVA encapsulants for solar module applications. Since a majority of solar modules installed across the world are now produced by solar module manufacturers in China, the company says its new centre will reinforce its position in China as a supplier of encapsulants to the photovoltaic (PV) market. This is the first EVA manufacturing facility that has been developed by Solutia after acquiring Germany-based Etimex Solar. Solutia also manufactures encapsulants in Mexico, Germany, Belgium, Brazil and the US.


Cereplast to build European plant
US bioplastics supplier Cereplast is building a plant in Italy to start up by 2012. The plant in Umbria will have a capacity of 100,000 tonnes. Initially the capacity will be 50,000 tonnes with the second phase adding another 50,000 tonnes. Cereplast says the market for bioplastics in Europe is expected to be 1 million tonnes by 2014. Sales from the region currently accounts for 85% of its output.


Carbon fibres for the automotive industry
MRC SGL Precursor (MSP), the joint venture between Mitsubishi Rayon and SGL, has started up production of polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based precursor, a raw material for carbon fibres, in Otake, Japan. The first commercial quantity of the material will be delivered in the second quarter of this year. The precursor manufactured by MSP in Otake will be converted to carbon fibres at the SGL plant in the US, where SGL is currently building a new grass root carbon fibre plant with an annual capacity of 3,000 tonnes, to start up by the third quarter of this year. These fibres will then be processed into lightweight materials at the second SGL site in Germany. The carbon fibre composite parts (CFRP) will be made from these materials at the BMW Group plant in Germany for use by the automotive producer. The assembly of the Megacity vehicle, which will be launched in 2013 as BMW i3, will take place at the BMW's plant in Leipzig, Germany.


Machinery News

Rajoo delivers first line to Pakistan
Indian extrusion machinery producer Rajoo Engineers has delivered a three-layer co-extruded blown film line to Polypack in Pakistan, making it the first Indian company to supply a three-layer line to the country.
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Green EVA extrusion line for encapsulation film
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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NGR has a bountiful year
Austrian recycling equipment supplier Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen (NGR) achieved its most successful financial year in its history in 2010/11 recording orders worth EUR22 million, following a 20% fall in sales revenues in the previous financial year.
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Exhibition News

PRA to host seminar at Thai show
PRA will host a seminar at the Thai exhibition Tiprex 2011 from 1-2 September titled New Developments in Thermoplastic Elastomers. It will be held alongside the third plastics and rubber exhibition, taking place from 31 August to 3 September at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC).
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. Injection Moulding Asia

Fibre composites testing centre in Germany
German machinery supplier KraussMaffei has opened what it says is the world's most versatile TechCenter for lightweight parts and fibre composites technology, complete with reaction processing machinery, situated adjacent to its injection moulding centre.
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R&D centres for automotive industry in China
The Chinese automotive market is becoming important as US-based DuPont has set up an automotive centre in Shanghai while German Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) is teaming up with local car maker Chery Automobile to set up a R&D laboratory to develop lightweight materials.
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Composites with metallic inserts for automotives
New lightweight automotive carbon fibre-reinforced composites with metallic inserts, said to be 40% lighter and more cost competitive, are being developed by materials supplier Evonik together with industrial partners Johnson Controls, Jacob plastics, Toho Tenax Europe and the University of Aachen (Institute for textile technology) and the Automotive Institute.
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