Thai IVL completes purchase of Wellman's Europe PET recycling ops

SINGAPORE (ICIS) -- Thai producer Indorama Ventures Ltd (IVL) said late on Wednesday it has closed the deal to acquire the European recycling operations of Wellman International from German firm Aurelius for an undisclosed amount.

Wellman International is Europe's largest recycler of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and also produces polyester stable fibre products and recycled PET (rPET), IVL said in a statement.
⌠The deal, which was first announced in September 2011, will assist IVL in pursuing its customers' sustainability needs and meet the demands of consumers for more recycling of post consumer products, IVL said.

Wellman International processes a total of 1.6bn used PET bottles each year.
⌠I see the possibility for Indorama Ventures to move towards being a zero waste' company with lower dependence on upstream carbon based feedstocks, said IVL CEO Aloke Lohia in the statement.


Russia's Rosneft keeps December base oil prices to China stable

SINGAPORE (ICIS) -- Russia's Rosneft is keeping the December-delivery Group I base oil prices from its Angarsk refinery to China largely unchanged from November, Chinese traders said on Thursday.
The refiner's December prices to China are at $950/tonne (┬703/tonne) for low-viscosity cargoes and $960-970/tonne for high-viscosity products, both on a DAF (delivered at frontier) basis to Erenhot, they said.

Market players were expecting a price reduction because of the prevailing weak demand.
However, Rosneft said stronger crude futures and its resultant higher production costs were its reasons for keeping its prices largely steady, according to the players.
In addition, the refiner plans to supply 8,000 tonnes of Group I base oils to China in December, a 16% drop from November, traders said.


Commerce ministry of India agrees to enhance packaging industry standards

(plasteurope) -- The commerce ministry of India has agreed in principle to accept the packaging industry's proposals for enhancing the country's packaging standards. The 10 proposals by the India Institute of Packaging, Mumbai include establishment of a food packaging laboratory, a flexible intermediate bulk container testing laboratory at Chennai and an international packaging centre in Mumbai.

India's domestic packaging sector, which accounts for 10% of the global market, is expected to see growth rates of about 18% to reach a value of USD 40 bn by 2015. According to a recent report by PCI Films Consulting (Guilsborough, Northamptonshire UK), demand for flexible packaging in the country will be driven by economic growth, a rise in the production of processed foods and a rise in retailing operations. The country's packaging production runs mainly on imported machinery, with the USD 125m import total being supplied by Germany, Korea and China.

Speaking at Indiapack, J.K. Dadoo, joint secretary to the commerce ministry, said the anticipated rise in food consumption in the country, expected to touch USD 240 bn by 2013, will necessitate innovative packaging solutions, especially as regards ⌠heat and eat food products.


BASF to build high performance specialty plastics plant in Korea

( -- BASF will build a new plant to produce Ultrason╝ polyethersulfone (PESU), one of BASF's high-performance thermoplastics, at the company's site in Yeosu, Korea. The annual capacity of the new plant is 6,000 metric tons. Construction of this specialty plastics plant will start in early 2012 and production is expected to begin by early 2014. About 50 new jobs will be created once the plant is operational.

"Overall in Asia Pacific, we are investing approximately ┬2.3 billion from 2011 to 2015 in order to achieve our goal to produce 70% of our sales in the region. By establishing local production of our high performance specialty plastics in Korea, we can support the growth of key local industries," said Dr. Albert Heuser, President, Market and Business Development, Asia Pacific, BASF.

Ultrason is sold to customers in the electronics industry, as well as the automotive and aerospace industries for the production of heat-resistant light weight components and to the water treatment industry for manufacturing of water treatment membranes.

At present this specialty plastic is only produced at BASF's Ludwigshafen site in Germany. ⌠BASF is committed to strengthening its market position in the engineering plastics business, said Dr. Wolfgang Hapke, President of BASF's Performance Polymers Division. ⌠This new plant will significantly enhance our engineering plastics position in the rapidly growing Asian market and reaffirm our dedication to being our customers' supplier of choice for high performance materials.
The Korean electronics industry is a major target market for Ultrason. The location also benefits from the proximity to other major markets such as China and Japan.


ReportsnReports adds new market research report World Bioplastics to 2015

( -- World Bioplastics - industry study, presents historical demand data (2000, 2005, 2010) and forecasts for 2015 and 2020 by product, market, world region and for 16 major countries. The study also considers market environment factors, evaluates company market share and profiles 38 industry competitors such as Arkema, NatureWorks, Metabolix, BASF, Innovia Films,Novamont and Rodenburg Biopolymer

Global demand for biodegradable and bio-based plastics will more than triple to over one million metric tons in 2015, valued at $2.9 billion. Bioplastics have moved past the initial phase of market introduction and are now experiencing robust increases in demand in virtually all parts of the world.

Ultimately, however, price considerations will be the main driver of bioplastic market success, and rising petroleum costs may allow some bioplastic resins to achieve price parity with conventional plastics by the end of the decade. Starch-based resins, PLA to pace biodegradables Biodegradable plastics accounted for 90 percent of the world bioplastics market in 2010. Excellent growth is forecast for the two leading biodegradable plastics, starch-based resins and polylactic acid (PLA), both of which will more than double in demand through 2015.

Despite the strong advances for biodegradable resins, non-biodegradable biobased resins will be the primary driver of bioplastics demand through 2015 and beyond. Gains will be stimulated by the availability of commercial quantities of bio-based polyethylene from Braskem's 200,000 metric ton per year plant in Brazil, which opened in late 2010. Two other bio-based polyethylene plants, as well as bio-based polypropylene and PVC facilities, are expected to open around 2015. Additionally, industrial production of fully bio-based PET is forecast to become a reality by the end of the decade.