Lanxess expands production capacities for polychloroprene solid rubber

(Lanxess) -- Specialty chemicals company Lanxess is investing EUR 17 million in the expansion of its production capacities for polychloroprene solid rubber. The expansion at the Dormagen site is scheduled for completion by the end of 2012 and will increase production by 10 percent to 63 KTa.

Lanxess produces and markets polychloroprene solid rubber under the brand name Baypren. Uses for this product range include the production of cable sheathing, hoses, belts, seals and air springs.

The expansion work will also see the implementation of a new production technology that will enable Lanxess to operate more energy and resource efficiently and thus more ecologically.


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.