Avantium and Danone sign development partnership for Next Generation bio-based plastic: PEF

(biofuelsdigest) -- In the Netherlands, Avantium announced a Joint Development Agreement for the development of PEF bottles with Danone Research. Based on the YXY technology, the Avantium and Danone Research joint objective is to contribute to the emergence of a new renewable material generation which will not be in direct competition with food.

YXY is used as a fast and efficient chemical-catalytic technology to convert carbohydrates produced from plants, grains, energy crops, lignocellulosic matter, waste streams, waste paper or agricultural residues, into a wide variety of bio-based polymers. Based on ongoing R&D programs, Avantium will also continue to develop PEF from renewable feedstock not competing with food.

Avantium has recently opened its pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, with the capacity of producing 40 tons of PEF for application development. The collaborations with Danone and The Coca-Cola Company are key to secure a smooth transition into the mass production phase of PEF bottles. Avantium is in active discussion with other leading brand owners to develop PEF bottles, fibers and film. In the longer term Avantium will license its YXY technology to enable large scale, world-wide production and use of its bio-sourced plastic materials.


Invista announces distribution alliance in Europe

(plastech) -- Invista Engineering Polymers and Hromatka Group recently signed a distribution agreement to sell Invista's new Torzen polyamide resin in Europe.

The agreement with Hromatka includes Graesslin, Plastoplan, Lenorplastics and Polymix IP. Among European distributors, Invista's Torzen polyamide is available only through Hromatka Group in countries including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, France, Italy and Hungary.

⌠The benefit for our customers will be access to Invista's high-quality, high-value Torzen polyamide resin grades through the well-organized sales network of Hromatka Group's subsidiaries, said Adrian Kaminski, Europe distribution manager, Invista Engineering Polymers.

Gazprom Neft plans to invest EUR70 mln in petrochemicals in cooperation with Sibur

(plastemart) -- In 2012, Gazprom Neft plans to invest up to RUB3 bln (EUR70 mln) in developing its petrochemical business, in cooperation with Sibur.

The deal will allow Sibur and Gazprom Neft to expand its business in the profitable segment of the market. The two companies have already launched a joint project for polypropylene production at a Moscow refinery.

Neft and Sibur are currently working on the next project, which will involve production of polypropylene at a plant in Omsk which is owned by the Titan Group.


European shipping firms notified of further growth in April freight costs

(chemmonitor) -- With the announcement of growing freight costs in March, European shipping firms have notified of further essential growth in April freight rates, getting most of their rate increase targets for March.

Precipitously rising freight rates bring barriers to polymer trade worldwide into being. Increasing freight costs force traders to look for a more stable price policy. Many are unsatisfied with their shipment volume fallen.


China's domestic PVC market trades below imports on poor demand

(plastemart) -- China's domestic PVC market has been mostly unresponsive to the steadily rising import prices since the beginning of 2012, causing the domestic market to trade at a discount when compared to imports.

Contrary to the revived demand in many other regions that paved the way for import prices to rise, buying interest has been sluggish in China's domestic PVC market. Many producers complain about having to work with unsatisfactory margins as they cannot up-adjust their domestic PVC prices to avoid further dampening demand inside the country further.

Indeed, persistent problems about the global economy have resulted in slower demand for all end product applications in China. The world's second largest economy faced its largest trade deficit in 23 years in February as Europe's debt crisis hampered overall exports while overall imports surged following the Chinese New Year holidays.

While China's economic growth has moderated for the past four quarters in line with the curbed export demand and the government's earlier decision about restricting lending in order to tame inflation, the Chinese government cut its economic growth target to 7.5% for 2012 in early March for the first time after keeping it at around 8% for the past seven consecutive years.