South Korea's KP Chemical to raise Ulsan PET output to 100%

SHANGHAI (ICIS)--KP Chemical, South Korea's largest polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle chip producer, is planning to raise the output at its 450,000 tonne/year plant in Ulsan from 80% to 100% next week because of improved market conditions, a company official said on Friday.
KP plans to increase its PET output after the decline in raw material purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and monoethylene glycol (MEG) prices eased an earlier squeeze on PET margins, the company official said.

The company reduced its plant's run rate in early October because of uncertain market conditions in the fourth quarter.
Average spot PTA prices were at $1,145/tonne (┬824/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) China for the week ended 28 October, down by 4% from early October. Spot MEG prices dropped to $1,165/tonne CFR China for the same week, down by 5.5% from early October, ICIS data showed.

⌠Even though PET prices are declining, raw material prices are falling even faster, the company official said. ⌠Margins for PET are starting to see some recovery.
The average spot price for bottle grade PET was at $1,550/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea for the week ended 28 October, down by 6.1% from early October, ICIS data showed. PET has been falling since the middle of September, when the average spot price was at $1,730/tonne FOB Korea.
⌠When there is a sharp downturn in feedstock prices, there is a short-term improvement in margins, said a southeast Asian PET maker. ⌠The lower prices also help to boost demand.


DSM to ncrease prices for their Arnitel and Arnite products

(DSM) -- Because of continual increases in the cost of key raw materials, DSM Engineering Plastics will increase prices by at least 10% for their Arnitel and Arnite products. This will be effective from 1 November 2011 and apply on a global basis.

While DSM Engineering Plastics continues to pursue and implement cost saving initiatives, targeted at absorbing the impact of the raw material price changes, this additional increase is necessary to ensure the sustainable long-term growth of the company.

Ute Schick, Global Business Director Arnitel & Arnite, says: ⌠Within the strategy of DSM Engineering Plastics we are strongly committed to Innovation and Sustainability. We will continue to work in close partnership with our customers and be different because of new and greener products. DSM is passionate about playing a leading role in the change from a fossil fuel dependent economy to a more sustainable, bio-based one. An example of this is Arnitel ECO which is a unique addition to our Arnitel TPE family.


Azelis Polymers expanding into the Spanish market

(Azelis) -- Azelis has extended their distribution agreement with SO.F.TER. Tecnopolimeri, Italian supplier of Engineering Plastics and Thermoplastic Elastomers. Building upon our excellent partnership with SO.F.TER through existing sales in France, Benelux, Italy, Nordic and CEE, the new agreement now includes Spain.

To help support this major highlight, Adrian Blakemore was appointed as Sales Manager - Azelis Plastic Polymers for Spain in June.

The new activities in Spain centre on supply to the automotive, domestic appliance and rail sectors, with speciality materials ranging from technical reinforced polyamide, polypropylene and polyester grades fulfilling the needs of converters serving some of the most demanding industries.


Maersk Oil Qatar completed Qemscan WellSite Tests

(Arabian oil and gas) -- FEI Company's Natural Resources Business Unit has confirmed the successful completion of QEMSCAN WellSite field tests with Maersk Oil, in cooperation with Qatar Petroleum. The QEMSCAN WellSite solution provides automated, quantitative mineralogical, lithological and textural analysis of drill cuttings from oil and gas wells. In the field test, the system was deployed on an off-shore jack-up drilling rig near Qatar, where it was used to characterize carbonate and clastic geological sequences and reservoirs.

⌠The field tests were conducted between June and September 2011 in the challenging environment of an offshore drilling platform where the system endured large temperature variations, humidity, and vibrations on the jack-up rig, yet the QEMSCAN WellSite system was reliable, said Lewis Affleck, managing director, Maersk Oil Qatar.

Affleck adds, ⌠The system's automated analysis and well-defined work flow delivered unbiased, quantitative characterization of drill cuttings in less than an hour from sample collection. Getting higher-quality information from drill cuttings helped us to make on-site mineralogy determination with greater confidence, supporting the porosity evaluation, and provided valuable data for post-drilling analysis. Our field tests of the QEMSCAN WellSite solution proved it to be quite valuable, and in particular, we see potential for its use in deep water drilling operation, especially in complex mineralogical settings.


MedPlast is looking for acquisition candidates in manufacturing in Latin America and Asia

(PlasticsToday) -- Three-year-old MedPlast (Tempe, AZ) is looking for acquisition candidates in healthcare contract manufacturing in Latin America and Asia, and hopes to expand its global footprint within two years.

"If you want to be successful in a region of the world, you need to have a permanent presence there," Harold Faig, CEO of MedPlast told in an interview. "And I'm not a fan of building from scratch. My focus is to go where the customers are and generally that means you need to buy facilities and optimize them to what is needed."

MedPlast operates five plants in the United States that were part of its acquisition of the engineered rubber and plastics group of Applied Tech Products Corp. and K&W Medical Specialties in 2008 just as a major recession was taking hold. Faig ordered a restructuring to improve costs as well as investment in new capabilities required for a medical market focus.