Braskem is a signatory to the UN initiative on climate change

(Braskem) -- Braskem, the leading thermoplastic resin producer in the Americas and the world's largest biopolymer producer, is a participant in the 2011 United Nations Global Compact Week and the Meeting of Signatories of the Caring for Climate initiative. The Global Compact Week will be held from May 16 to 20 and the Meeting of Signatories will be held on May 17 in Copenhagen, Denmark. This year's annual signatories meeting has the theme Business Contribution to Global Sustainability Ahead of Rio+20, which is the UN Conference of Sustainable Development to be held in Brazil next year.

Braskem became the world's largest producer of biopolymers, which are resins made from renewable raw materials, in 2010, when it began to make polyethylene made from ethanol, advancing its strategy to become the world leader in sustainable chemistry. The green plastic produced by Braskem recently received the highest certification for renewable products from Vincotte, a Belgium certification association that is one of the world's main references in this type of evaluation.


Lanxess to present rubber products for ⌠green tires and plastics for lightweight construction

(Lanxess) -- Lanxess will be exhibiting at the 11th Challenge Bibendum, organized by the Michelin Group, this year on the grounds of the former Berlin-Tempelhof Airport. ⌠This event is considered one of the world's foremost specialist- and discussion forums on issues relating to sustainable mobility and the corresponding technical solutions. As such, it is the ideal setting for us to present our material innovations for the lightweight, low-emissions and safe motor vehicle of the future, explains Dr. Werner Breuers, Member of the Board of Management of Lanxess.

New Lanxess high-performance rubber grades will be showcased that significantly reduce the rolling resistance of tires which can account for roughly one-fifth of a vehicle's total fuel consumption. The topic of lightweight construction concepts based on the high-tech plastics Durethan and Pocan will also be presented. The concepts include new, all-plastic composite technology based on nylon composite sheet and polyamide, which supports the fabrication of very lightweight, but strong vehicle body parts. Also on exhibit will be high-performance elastomers from the Therban range for applications in new engine concepts, and a project for the manufacture of synthetic rubber from renewable raw materials. These and other innovations will also be on display at the company's 80 square meters of stand space in the Technical Exhibition Center.


Japan's Idemitsu restarts cracker after maintenance

(Reuters) -- Japan's Idemitsu Kosan Co said it restarted the naphtha cracker at its Chiba plant, east of Tokyo, on Thursday after scheduled maintenance. The 374 KTa cracker, which had been shut since March 27, began making products that reached specified standards on Thursday, a spokeswoman said. The company has no plans to shut its 623 Kta naphtha cracker at Tokuyama plant this year.


Technip was awarded by BASF a contract for chemical and petrochemical projects

(Plastemart) -- Technip has been awarded by BASF an Engineering Partner Umbrella Service Contract for chemical and petrochemical projects. The scope of work encompasses various kinds of services from studies, basic & detail engineering up to project implementation services. Both companies are contemplating a long-term partnership which will provide BASF access to the extensive engineering resources of Technip for its capital investments notably in Europe, but also in other regions.


Japan slipped back into a technical recession

(ICIS) -- Japan slipped back into a technical recession as the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March significantly dented production and exports of the world's third largest economy. Its economic output fell by 0.9% quarter on quarter, with the annualised rate of decline at 3.7%, according to data from Japan's Cabinet Office released on Thursday. Most economists had been expecting a 2% year-on-year GDP contraction for the March quarter. A technical recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of shrinking economic output.

With its industries still trying to cope with a power shortage more than two months since the disasters that shoved the country into a nuclear crisis, Japan's economic performance this quarter may be worse than the first quarter's.

The crisis at the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is regarded to be on par with the worst nuclear disaster on record at Chernobyl, which occurred 25 years ago.

Among the biggest casualties of the power shortage is the automotive sector, which is a major end-market for petrochemicals.