Antitrust body clears Swiss Ameropa's takeover of Romanian fertilizer plant

(blackseagrain) -- Swiss grain trader Ameropa is close to wrap up the takeover of Romanian fertilizers producer Azomures after Romania's antitrust body has cleared the deal.

Thus, Ameropa would also indirectly take control over Constanta-based port operator Chimpex Constanta - a valuable asset for any grain trader. Ameropa is to acquire 75.8% of Azomures after taking full control over its Turkish shareholders Eurofert Investments and Azomures Holdings for an unspecified sum. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The new majority owner will be obliged by the law to launch a buyout bid for the remaining shares in Romania's Azomures. The book value of the company's own funds stands at EUR 251mn, 16% above the latest market value of the company, the daily notes. Assuming the buyout bid takes place at this price implied by the company's book value, Ameropa would have to pay EUR 60mn, out of which EUR 26.7mn to Property Fund that holds 10.7% in Azomures.


INEOS EPS plant in Marl to continue operations

(plasteurope) -- Even though the site's styrene and polystyrene plants are due to be closed by the end of the year. Ineos (Rolle / Switzerland) plans to continue operating the remaining lines in Marl / Germany.

A company spokeswoman told that the Rolle-based group would hold on to its 260,000 t/y cumene plant as well as its 110,000 t/y EPS line at the site. To date, the latter had been fed with styrene produced in Marl, a job which in future will probably be assumed by joint venture partner BASF (Ludwigshafen / Germany) or Shell Chemicals (London / UK).

It also remains unclear whether Ineos Styrenics four European EPS plants will be consolidated. Ineos did not comment on a relevant query. However, sources close to the company said the Marl EPS line will likely continue operations ⌠for now. Aside from Marl, Ineos also runs EPS production facilities in Breda / The Netherlands as well as Ribecourt and Wingles - both in France.

British Polythene Industries to invest in waste wash plant

(plasteurope) -- Thanks to an investment of GBP 4.5m (EUR 5.4m) in a state-of-the-art waste wash plant, PE film producer British Polythene Industries (BPI, Greenock, Scotland) has increased recycling capacity at its Rhymney / South Wales plant by 25,000 t/y. The new plant will be used, in particular, to recycle waste film from the agriculture and horticulture markets. It will enable bpi.recycled products to strengthen its range of 100% recycled PE products.

In addition to being one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe, the wash plant will also be one of the most environmentally friendly. It employs features such as low energy, high output motors, energy-saving lighting and rainwater harvesting to replace water lost each day.

BPI is Europe's largest recycler of waste PE, now capable of reprocessing up to 95,000 t/y annually from a network of strategically located, approved sites across the UK. Waste farm plastic is a continuing problem for UK farmers and growers. An estimated 80,000 t is generated annually, much of it heavily contaminated with soil, sand and other contaminants.

As a result, a large percentage of it is exported to countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia, where it is often recycled using primitive, manual techniques. A high volume of the UK's waste farm polythene is also still being sent to landfill or illegally burnt.

European masterbatch industry expects moderate growth in coming years

(plasteurope) -- Although the medium-term prospects for Europe's masterbatch industry are not exactly exciting, the market is nevertheless expected to grow at a modest 2% per year in the near future.

Europe's masterbatch consumption rose by an average 2% each year in the period from 2005-2010, reaching an overall market value of EUR 2.9 bn in 2010. In volume terms, eastern Europe and Russia are expected to see above average consumption growth of about 2.5% a year, shoring up demand development for the entire continent. Given these prospects, European masterbatch consumption is set to rise from its present 900,000 t to about 1m t by 2015, the latest report by British market researcher Applied Market Information has found.

Aside from overall market data and forecasts, "Corporate performance and ownership among masterbatch producers - A review of Europe's 50 largest players" also profiles Europe's 50 leading masterbatch producers, indicating key financial data, output figures as well as individual production portfolio.

Contrary to Asia, where masterbatch demand is set to see the world's highest growth rates amid China's rapid economic development, Europe's masterbatch industry is more mature. Following a dramatic alignment as a result of the 2008/2009 financial crisis, at a time when European producers were already grappling with lower growth rates, the situation has meanwhile calmed down, AMI says. With no more room for consolidations, few players have entered the European masterbatch scene in recent years and the M&A activities of existing producers have also abated.


BASF, Bekaert, Voestalpine to develop thermoplastics with steel

(basf) -- Together with its partners Bekaert (Belgium) and voestalpine Plastics Solutions (Netherlands), BASF is now working on the development of thermoplastic components that are reinforced with steel cord fabrics and produced by means of injection molding.

The three companies have joined together with the objective of employing and further developing this new EASI technology with partners in the automotive industry. The abbreviation EASI stands for Energy Absorption, Safety and Integrity.

In contrast to known types of reinforcements like continuous fiber-reinforced laminates or other carbon or glass fiber fabrics, the steel cord inserts ensure especially the integrity of the molded part's function in a crash situation. This creates an entirely new performance class.