BASF offers the packaging industry a variety of barrier solutions

(BASF) -- BASF offers the packaging industry a variety of barrier solutions that demonstrate a high effectiveness in preventing mineral oil residues from migrating from cardboard food packaging into food. This has been confirmed through a series of studies conducted by the official Food Safety Authority of the Canton of Zurich on the BASF products Ultramid, Epotal A 816, Ecovio FS Paper and specially developed dispersions. Four different solutions are available for coating every type of food packaging, including paper, cardboard and film. In 2010, a study by Zurich Food Safety Authority scientists using a dedicated measuring method had detected alarming levels of mineral oil residues from cardboard packaging in food. The same method was used in the testing of the BASF products.


Styron supplies polycarbonate for new Doha international airport

(Styron) -- The new Doha International Airport which is currently being built in the middle of the desert is scheduled to open for business in 2011. It will handle 50 million passengers a year.

Leading independent polycarbonate extruder Plastic Materials Industry dott. Gallina proved to be the ideal materials supplier for the project, with extensive experience of producing multi-wall sheet and panel systems in a range of designs and colors.

Using Styron's Calibre 302 resins, Gallina developed a UV-protected multiwall polycarbonate facade with the high thermal insulation properties (U-value of 0.5 W/m2K) needed to keep temperatures within the hangar under control. The sheet was used in the company's arcoPlus 626 modular system, formed of co-extruded six wall polycarbonate panels 20mm thick and with 600mm modular width, which are designed to withstand wind load forces.

A stunning visual effect was created by installing dual color polycarbonate sheets in the system. Using Styron's Calibre 302 resins, Gallina combined a clear tint for the outside facing and a blue tint for the inside facing.


Europe naphtha prices soften on lower crude values

(ICIS) -- Lower Brent crude oil prices resulted in the European naphtha cargo range softening further on Wednesday morning. However, views were mixed on the effect this would have on naphtha demand.

At 10.15 GMT, the range was assessed at USD 1.062-1.070/tonne CIF (cost, insurance & freight) NWE (northwest Europe), with June Brent crude oil at USD 122.76/bbl.

This was a fall of USD 9/tonne from the previous afternoon's range of USD 1.071-1.079/tonne, when June Brent was at USD 123.64/bbl.

It also marked a USD 34/tonne drop from the exceptionally high range of USD 1.096-1.104/tonne seen on the afternoon of 28 April, when June Brent was at USD 126.18/bbl.

Prices have risen further since then, albeit remaining at levels last seen in July 2008. This has led to concerns about the negative effect on European naphtha demand.


BP declared force majeure on US acetic acid

(ICIS) -- BP declared force majeure (FM) on US acetic acid earlier this week because of problems stemming from a recent power outage at a plant in Texas City, Texas, sources said on Wednesday.

BP markets all of the acetic acid produced by a 545 KTa Sterling Chemicals plant in Texas City, in a deal that expires in 2031, according to Sterling's website. The power outage had disrupted operations at the Sterling plant, sources said.

Allocation levels and details on whether the plant is still running were unknown.

BP and Sterling Chemicals have not responded to calls seeking comment.

The acetic acid FM stemmed from a power outage on 25 April that knocked out petrochemical and refinery operations in Texas City, sources said.

The power outage disrupted Texas City operations at a Dow Chemical complex, an INEOS styrene plant and Marathon, BP and Valero refineries.


Local deficit of LDPE for thermal shrinkage made prices up

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Suspension of Kazan enterprise as well as limited traffic in federal roads stipulated local deficit and small growth of prices for polyethylene (PE) for thermal shrinkage, according to ICIS-MRC Price forecast.

In April because of spring floods the cargo traffic was limited in many federal roads. It didn't affect the Russian market of PE seriously, except growing expenses for delivery. A small demand for LDPE in terms of efficient offer didn't cause serious problems in the market.

In mid-April LDPE capacities in Kazan were suspended for scheduled maintenance, and in the end of the month there was a small deficit of 153 PE in separate Russian regions. Despite a low buying activity, in the first weeks of May the prices for LDPE for shrinkable films production in terms of limited offer grew to 65.000 - 67.000 RUB/t, including VAT, FCA. The offer of 158 PE is more than enough and the level of prices is within 61.000 - 64.500 RUB/t, including VAT, FCA, depending on producers.

Renovation of LDPE production for shrinkable films in Kazanorgsyntez is expected after 17 May, after scheduled maintenance. It is not excluded that till now a further reduction of PE offer will stipulate the growth of spot prices.