Automotive injection molder Century Mold Inc. to expand its Shelbyville plant

(Plastics Today) -- Automotive injection molder Century Mold Inc. will invest USD4.2 million to expand its Shelbyville, TN plant, a move that ultimately will create 58 new jobs. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty today joined with representatives from Century Mold to announce the investment on Jan. 13.

According to the company's website, the operation in Shelbyville covers 100,000 sq ft, and runs 25 injection molding machines, ranging in clamp force from 60 to 1150 tons. It also as a full tool room with the capacity to build molds up to 20,000 lb.

In early 2012 Century Mold will start construction on a new injection molding facility in Queretaro, Mexico located in the El Marques Industrial Park. The company plans to invest more than USD15 million on new equipment for this facility over the next 36 months, with the plant to cover approximately 100,000 sq ft and able to house injection molding machines up to 3500 tons.

Century anticipated that facility being complete early in the fourth quarter of 2012, with actual production to start as early as January 2013. The facility will house up to 40 machines in larger tonnages ranging from 390 tons to 2200 tons by 2016 including two shot injection molding machines.


DSM and Akzo Nobel signed an agreement on cobalt-free technologies for the curing of thermoset resins

(PlastEurope) -- In anticipation of rising environmental pressure on cobalt, DSM Composite Resins (Schaffhausen/Switzerland) and Akzo Nobel (Arnhem/The Netherlands have signed a cross-license agreement on cobalt-free technologies for the curing of thermoset resins. The companies said these innovative solutions would offer more sustainable alternatives to the cobalt-based systems currently in use.

Commenting on the agreement, Akzo Nobel's Alain Rynwalt said both companies had been working independently on developing cobalt-free resin curing systems for several years, adding that ⌠Combining these technologies will bring viable, leading-edge solutions to the whole composites industry.

The two companies said details of the agreement were still being finalised, adding that additional information would be provided at the upcoming ⌠JEC Composites fair, held in Paris/France from 27-29 March 2012.


LANXESS focuses in Russia on the megatrend of mobility

(LANXESS) -- The German specialty chemicals group LANXESS is focusing on the megatrend of mobility on the Russian market too. At its new site in Lipezk, LANXESS subsidiary Rhein Chemie will produce rubber additives and release agents for the Russian and CIS markets, especially for the automotive and tire industries.

Construction of the new production plant is due to start in early 2012, with the launch of production scheduled for the first half of 2013. In 2016, a production facility for bladders used in tire production is to be added. Total investment will amount to around EUR 5 million, creating 40 new jobs in the medium term.

Every year, the company will produce up to 1,500 metric tons of Rhenogran rubber additives and around 500 metric tons of Rhenodiv release agents at the new plant in Lipezk. These products are used primarily in the manufacture of car tires and technical rubber products such as hoses and seals. In 2016, a facility able to produce up to 80,000 Rhenoshape bladders annually is to be added to the complex. Bladders are used in the tire industry to give tires their ultimate form and properties.


Westlake Chemical made a USD30/share bid to acquire all outstanding shares of Georgia Gulf

(ICIS) -- Westlake Chemical has made a USD30/share (EUR23/share) bid valued at more than USD1bn (EUR780m) to acquire all outstanding shares of Georgia Gulf, the US chemicals firm said on Friday. Westlake said it first approached Georgia Gulf on 20 September with its proposal.

However, Georgia Gulf has been ⌠unwilling to provide us with information that would allow us to explore these opportunities or to enter into substantive discussions, Westlake added. Georgia Gulf did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Georgia Gulf had nearly 34m outstanding shares, according to a regulatory filing made in March, 2011.

Westlake said its bid reflects a 51% premium to Georgia Gulf's 30-day volume-weighted average share price of USD19.82, and a 66% premium to Georgia Gulf's volume-weighted average closing share price of USD18.02 since the initial offer from 20 September. Georgia Gulf's shares were up USD8.81 to USD33.29/share at 09:49 hours New York time (14:49 hours GMT). Westlake, which already holds 4.8% of Georgia Gulf's shares, said its all-cash proposal is not subject to financing conditions.


In Europe January OX contract demonstrated a rise of EUR40/tonne

(ICIS) -- The European January orthoxylene (OX) contract has settled at EUR960/tonne (USD1,215/tonne) - a rise of EUR40/tonne from the previous month, two producers and two consumers confirmed on Monday. The settlement was agreed on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis. Buyers and sellers said the increase is being attributed to the euro-dollar exchange rate, as well as pricing trends in the US and Asia and current market conditions.

⌠The price went up based on the euro exchange rate and energy costs, a producer said.
A buyer said that in addition to the above reasons, prices had increased because producers want to reclaim some margin. The buyer also said: ⌠January demand has been fine, not a very good month, but better than December.
A lack of transparency prevails in the OX spot market. However, prices are firming on export demand, with traders notionally assessing values at USD1,330-1,400/tonne FOB (free on board) Rotterdam.

Despite weak domestic consumption because of poor macroeconomic conditions, derivative phthalic anhydride (PA) demand is also firmer than in December because of restocking. Additionally, exporters say overseas buying interest for European material is growing, and exports to the Middle East, Asia and Africa have increased sharply in January.