FIAT Panda sports a high-quality edge with Borealis and Borouge PP innovations

(borealis) -- FIAT has once again turned to lightweight, cost-competitive materials from Borealis and Borouge, leading providers of innovative, value creating plastics solutions, to achieve top-level aesthetics and performance for interior and exterior components on its new Fiat Panda.

Borealis and Borouge's polypropylene (PP) automotive innovations combine a host of high-performance mechanical properties and processing advantages designed to ease production, and enhance the quality and surface finish of vehicle interiors and exteriors. In addition, the lightweight polyolefins offer vehicle weight savings when used to replace traditional parts materials, contributing to a reduction in fuel consumption. Borealis has assisted the company's enhancement of performance and aesthetics of interior and exterior vehicle parts on models recognised for their safety and cutting-edge designs such as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Fiat 500.

For the new Fiat Panda, Tier One supplier Magneti Marelli successfully used high-performance Daplen thermoplastic olefin (TPO) compounds from Borealis to achieve consistent parts with the visual appeal and safety-related performance to meet FIAT's stringent quality requirements and technical specifications.


BASF to invest in new chemical production site in Dahej, India

(basf) -- BASF India Limited will invest ┬150 million to set up a new chemical production site at the Dahej Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR), located on the west coast of India in Gujarat.

The new site will be an integrated hub for polyurethane manufacturing and will also house production facilities for care chemicals and polymer dispersions for coatings and paper. With this new production site, BASF aims to ensure local supply for growing markets and industries such as appliances, footwear, automotive, construction, adhesives, architectural coatings, paper and personal care. The start of production is planned for 2014.


Jacobs wins refinery expansion contract in Russia

(refiningandpetrochemicals) -- Jacobs Engineering Group has secured a contract from Afipsky Refinery for an undisclosed sum in Russia.

The firm will be responsible to develop a basic engineering package for an amine regenerator unit, a sour water stripper and an expected 55 tonnes per day sulfur recovery unit (SRU).

All three units are part of a refinery extension project which includes a hydrotreater unit and a visbreaker unit.

The SRU design is based on Jacobs proprietary EUROCLAUS process and is being executed from Jacobs office in Leiden, Netherlands.

Currently, Jacobs is working closely with the Moscow-based EPC contractor and engineer of gas treating units and SRU's Giprogazoochistka.


UK injection moulder in administration after failure to find new owner

(plasteurope) -- Automotive injection moulded component supplier Birkby's Plastics (Liversedge / UK) has been placed in administration, effective 3 April, putting some 370 jobs at risk.

The business has a turnover of GBP 25m (EUR 30m) but has been operating at a loss for several years and is not financially viable currently, according to Hunter Kelly, joint administrator at Ernst & Young (London / UK). He said an extensive sale process had been undertaken since the start of 2012 but added that Birkby's had failed to identify a purchaser prepared to make an acceptable offer for the business and its assets, although around 60 parties had expressed interest.

Birkby's Plastics has 71 injection moulding presses on its 24-acre (9.6-hectare) site. They range from 25 t clamp up to 2,000 t. The first-stage processes incorporate multi-cavity moulding, insert moulding, over-moulding, two-shot moulding, low pressure injection-compression moulding, in-mould decoration, structural foam moulding and gas injection.

Post-injection finishing processes include painting, hot plate welding, ultrasonic welding, laser welding and multi-component assembly. The automotive product portfolio includes mud flaps, glove box assemblies, accelerator pedals, grab handles and seat back covers. Birkby's principal customers are Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover. It also has extensive product design, prototyping and toolmaking facilities.

Sale of German Hewing subsidiary to Rettig completed

(plasteurope) -- Shortly before Easter, Finnish pipe manufacturer Uponor (Vantaa) announced that it had wrapped up the sale of its German OEM unit Hewing (Ochtrup) to Rettig ICC (Maastricht / The Netherlands).

The EUR 11.9m deal is effective from 1 January 2012 and Hewing's performance therefore will not be accretive to Uponor's 2012 performance. The German OEM producer's 230 employees generated sales of more than EUR 46m in 2011.