Kronos Worldwide aimed to increase price of TiO2 in March by USD250/tonne

MOSCOW (MRC) - Company Kronos Worldwide, one of the largest importers of titanium dioxide (TiO2) to the Russian market, announced increase in export prices effective from 1, March 2013, said the maker in the press release.

On 1, March 2013 global producer of TiO2 - company Kronos Worldwide will increase the price of export shipments of at least by USD250/tonne. This price growth will affect mainly such regions as Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Kronos is also one of the largest suppliers of TiO2 to the Russian market. In 2012, Kronos took the fourth place in exports of titanium dioxide to Russia, with 8,760 tonnes.

Russian converters' most popular grade is Kronos 2220, which is used in the production of rigid compounds.

In general, consumption of titanium dioxide in Russia the share Kronos production makes 13,25%.

Kronos Worldwide, Inc (Kronos) is one of the largest producers of titanium dioxide pigment (TiO2). The company produces more than 40 grades of TiO2. The company deliveres TiO2 to more than 100 countries in the world, but most of them are supplied to Europe and North America.


Clariant officially launches new polymers plant in Spain

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant has officially opened its new AMPS polymers plant for production of specialty polysulfonates at its facility in Tarragona, Spain, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The new plant is the result of a two-year investment totaling around EUR16 million, brought about through Clariant’s recently-completed global optimization project.

Production start-up and customer approvals have been taking place since early last year, leading up to the official opening of the plant on February 22.

Two separate lines will make a range of polymers for the industrial and consumer specialties business unit as well as the oil and mining services unit.

As MRC wrote previously, Clariant planed to increase the production capacity of the dehydrogenation catalysts in the U.S. by expanding its petrochemical complex in Louisville (Kentucky, USA). The company had already made ?? significant investments in the project, which is scheduled to start in September 2013.

Besides, the company has strengthened its position in the Asian market by entering into strategic agreements with DKSH and Wacker. The company also showed good progress in portfolio management and the integration of Sud-Chemie.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.

The top Kazakhstan refinery choses Honeywell technology for its modernization

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The largest refiner in Kazakhstan has selected technology from Honeywell's UOP for the modernization of its facility, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Pavlodar Oil Chemical Refinery (POCR) of KazMunaiGas will use a range of UOP processes and services to upgrade its facility in Northeast Kazakhstan Province, allowing it to meet Euro-5 standards aimed at reducing motor vehicle pollution.

Established in 1978, POCR is one of Kazakhstan’s three oil refineries, and it is the country’s largest oil processing enterprise. It processed about 100,000 bpd in 2010, accounting for 30% of refined product output in the country.

After Russia, Kazakhstan has the largest oil reserves and the largest oil production in the former Soviet Union, according to the Energy Information Administration. The country is expected to produce 1.6 million bpd of oil this year.

Since 1998, Honeywell has been expanding its presence in Kazakhstan’s oil and gas, aviation, and construction sectors in support of the country’s growing energy needs, according to the company.

Besides,as MRC informed earlier, last summer Honeywell's UOP has been selected by Russias Lukoil to provide technology to produce high-quality gasoline blending components, propylene and other petrochemicals at its facility in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. The suite of Honeywell's UOP technology will be used in a new integrated fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) complex, the second such complex to be licensed by Lukoil at the Nizhny Novgorod facility.The new units, expected to start up in 2015, will produce more than 1 million tpy of gasoline blending components and more than 170,000 tpy of propylene.

We also remind that South Korean petrochemical company LG Chem is planning to build an ethylene production plant in Atyrau, Kazakhstan. The project is going to be constacted in collaboration with two other Kazakh firms. The production is expected to begin in late 2016.

Dow Chemical to pay USD400 million in price-fixing case

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A federal jury has ordered Dow Chemical Co to pay USD400 million in a price-fixing case involving chemicals used to make foam products in cars, furniture and packaging, according Reuters with reference to court documents.

Dow was one of several chemical company defendants named in a class action lawsuit alleging a conspiracy to fix urethane chemical prices, but it was the only defendant not to settle.

Last month, it went to trial in a federal court in Kansas City. The plaintiffs, purchasers of urethane chemicals, had sought more than USD1 billion in damages from Dow.

If the USD400 million verdict is approved by the judge overseeing the case, it could be tripled under federal antitrust law.

David Bernick, an attorney for Dow, said that the company would seek to dismiss the lawsuit in a post-trial motion.

Separately, Dow said in a statement late on Wednesday that it was disappointed the jury found price fixing conduct during part of the time frame at issue, and that it continues to deny those allegations. The plaintiffs had sought damages for a five-year conspiracy, but the jury did not find Dow liable for the full five years, he said.

Other defendants in the case have settled. In 2006 Bayer AG agreed to pay USD55 million. In 2011 Huntsman International LLC agreed to pay USD33 million and BASF Corp agreed to pay USD51 million. In settling, none of the companies admitted any wrongdoing.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. As of 2007, it is the second-largest chemical manufacturer in the world by revenue (after BASF) and as of February 2009, the third-largest chemical company in the world by market capitalization (after BASF and DuPont). Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.

Elementis announces acquisition of Hi-Mar Specialty Chemicals

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Elementis PLC (ELM.L) said it agreed, through its wholly owned subsidiary Elementis Specialties to purchase the assets of Hi-Mar Specialty Chemicals, LLC or "Hi-Mar" a US coatings additives company, for a cash consideration of USD33 million, said Rttnews.

The transaction is expected to be earnings enhancing in the current year.

Hi-Mar is a supplier of defoamers to the coatings, construction and oilfield drilling industries, with manufacturing and technical facilities based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The acquisition of Hi-Mar would further expand Elementis' product and technical service offering in these high value segments.

For the year ended 31 December 2012, the acquired business reported, on an unaudited basis, sales of USD14.5 million and EBITDA of USD3.5 million.

As MRC wrote earlier, Elementis Plc (ELM), the world’s largest maker of hectorite-clay additives used in cosmetics, plans to increase investment and pump USD15 million into U.S. expansion over the next two years, Finance Director Brian Taylorson said.

Elementis plc is one of the UK's largest speciality chemicals business. The Company comprises three businesses: Specialty Products, Surfactants and Chromium. Both Specialty Products and Chromium hold leading market positions in their chosen sectors. Elementis employs over 1,200 people at more than 30 locations worldwide.