SABIC Innovative Plastics Expands Specialty Polypropylene Compounding

(SABIC) -- SABIC Innovative Plastics announced that it is adding state-of-the-art specialty polypropylene (PP) compounding to its Bay St. Louis, Miss. site in the first quarter of 2011.

The site will use its existing infrastructure and adopt new processes to produce SABIC PP compounds and SABIC STAMAX long glass fiber-reinforced PP composites.

Adding specialty PP to the site's compounding capabilities enables the company to provide a broader range of high-performance materials to its customers in North America and to help satisfy demand for specialty compounds - which is a market recovering fast from the recent downturn.


Pemex Asahi HDPE plant in Mexico to undergo November maintenance

HOUSTON (ICIS) -- A Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant in Mexico will be stopped in November for programmed maintenance, a company source said on Wednesday.

Both trains at Pemex's 100,000 tonne/year HDPE Asahi plant are scheduled to stop on 1 November and remain that way until 5 December for programmed maintenance procedures, the source said. Average production for the plant is about 74,000-80,000 tonnes/year, depending on a variety of factors.

Demand for PE resins remains high in Mexico, after receiving a boost from short supply that has been exacerbated by logistics problems brought on by copious rains in the southeastern area of the country.


Protectionism damaging to Russian polymer industry - SABIC

MOSCOW (ICIS) -- Russian protectionism which aims to shield domestic polymer producers is in fact damaging local polymer converters, said a senior SABIC executive on Thursday.

Making imported polymer more expensive for Russian converters than for those in other Former Soviet Union (FSU) countries like the Ukraine, would mean that imported finished plastic products would be able to undercut Russian products in their home market, Geert Drummen, CEO Eastern Europe for SABIC, told delegates at the ICIS-MRC Russian Polymers Summit in Moscow.

This would eventually be to the detriment of domestic polymer producers, he said.

Drummen added he was hopeful that Russia's entry to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) would help to reduce the level of protectionism.


India's Bhansali Engineering Polymers expands Rajasthan ABS plant

SINGAPORE (ICIS) -- India's Bhansali Engineering Polymers (BEPL) has started a debottlenecking process at its 50,000 tonne/year acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) plant at Rajasthan, to expand the plant's capacity by 40%, a company source said on Thursday.

The plant's capacity would be 70,000 tonnes/year when the process was completed in October next year, the source said.

The company has further plans to expand the plant's capacity to 125,000 tonnes/year by 2013, the source added.


Plasticizer DEHP remains legal for use in REACH-land

(Plastics Today) -- One of the world's most commonly used plasticizers to soften PVC has been registered under the European Union's REACH legislation.

The plasticizer, DEHP [Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate], accounts for about 17% of all plasticizer usage in Western Europe and approximately one-third of plasticizer use worldwide, mainly for making PVC soft and pliable.

For DEHP, the registration was driven by a consortium of European suppliers of the chemical. The members of the DEHP consortium include Arkema (lead registrant), Oxea, Perstorp, Polynt SPA, Zak S.A., Deza a.s., Oltchim S.A. and Boryszew S.A.

With the registration complete, DEHP has been registered for all current uses including medical devices. However, because DEHP is classified in Europe as a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC), its uses beyond January 2015 will eventually need to be authorized.

REACH, the regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, entered into force on June 1, 2007 and was supposed to streamline and improve the former legislative framework on chemicals used in the EU.