Clariant installs PET blow-moulding machine to support North American packaging customers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, is extending its colour and special effects' testing services for packaging sector customers in North America, according to the company's press release.

The acquisition by the company of a new production-scale stretch blow-moulding machine and other available services at its ColorWorks Design & Technology Center in West Chicago, Illinois, now make it possible for developers of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic containers to evaluate Clariant colour and special-effect masterbatches in full-size, three-dimensional bottles instead of flat injection-molded chips. They also now make their decisions about colour and special effects and produce sample containers, all in one facility.

The machine is typical of those used in actual package manufacturing, so designers and brand managers are now able to develop realistic samples for almost immediate evaluation. Clariant also has extrusion blow-molding machines available to produce for mono- and multi-layer containers made of polyolefins.

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, earlier last year Clariant Masterbatches developed new liquid vehicle technology (LVT) aimed at elimination of many problems that had prevented wider use of liquid color and additive concentrates in extrusion blow moulding of polyolefins (high- and low-density polyethylene and polypropylene).

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.

Teknor Apex extends its European supply capabilities for medical thermoplastic elastomers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Following the commercial success of Medalist medical thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) in the U.S.A., Teknor Apex Company has extended its international supply capabilities for these compounds by achieving ISO-13485 certification for its manufacturing facility in Oldbury, West Midlands, UK, according to the company's press release.

ISO-13485 is an international standard for quality management in medical manufacturing. The facility in the UK has passed the final audit and is expected to achieve full certification by the end of the current calendar quarter, according to Stef Hordijk, strategic market manager for the Thermoplastic Elastomer Division of Teknor Apex. A Medalist production facility in St. Albans, VT, U.S.A. obtained ISO-13485 certification in 2010.

"Certified production of Medalist TPEs in the UK helps Teknor Apex to save transit time and shipping costs in supplying the EU market, and it enables us to offer European customers compounds that provide the same properties as those from the U.S.A. and meet the same exacting standards," said Mr. Hordijk. "The startup of a second production facility for Medalist compounds increases our capability to serve as a single source of material for companies that manufacture internationally at multiple locations."

Developed for device manufacturers, ISO-13485 is not an essential standard for a compounder. Medalist elastomers are already fully compliant with regulations for medical uses and meet stringent standards for biocompatibility and purity.

"Teknor Apex undertook procedures for achieving ISO-13485 certification in order to provide our customers with an extra dimension of quality assurance and to demonstrate our commitment to the Medalist brand," said Mr. Hordijk.

As MRC informed previously, in the middle of last year Teknor Apex Company intorduced a new rigid vinyl compound that exhibits substantially higher flow than standard injection molding grades of RPVC and provides an economical alternative to engineering thermoplastics for large products, such as appliance panels, thin-wall parts, and complex structures with elaborate flow paths.

Teknor Apex is one of the world's leading custom compounders headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA. The company produces PA compounds in the UK, the U.S.A., and Singapore. Teknor Apex is one of the world's leaders of specialty PVC compounds which are used in a wide range of applications from wire and cable to automotive, medical, consumer and industrial products. The company also produces thermoplastic elastomers, nylon, bioplastics, chemicals, specialty compounds.

UAE is third globally in plastics re-export

MOSCOW (MRC) -- UAE exports of plastics grew by 127%, or USD2.2 billion, from the first half of 2011 to the second half of 2012, which is by 8 times exceeds the growth rate achieved during the entirety of 2011, according to USindustrysourcing with reference to a study released by the Ministry of Foreign Trade (MoFT).

The study added that the UAE’s foreign trade of plastics grew by 48% in the first six months of 2012 in comparison with the same period in 2011, increasing from USD2.9 billion to USD4.4 billion, respectively, with plastics exports being the main driver of growth during that period.

According to the study, the UAE came third globally in the re-export of plastics in 2011, re-exporting a total of USD444 million worth of the product - constituting a 3% share of the world’s re-exports of plastics.

During the same year, Hong Kong came in first place globally in this regard, re-exporting 81% of the world’s plastics (worth USD13.3 billion), most of which headed to China.

Regionally, the study stated that the UAE produces 25% of all plastics produced within the Gulf Cooperation Council, pointing out that it has over 600 plastics factories spread out across the country’s seven emirates, with Borouge (a joint venture of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Austria's Borealis) being the largest and most advanced plastics company in the country - expected to be able to solely produce 2.5 million tonnes of plastics in 2014 from the current capacity of just over two billion tonnes.

As MRC informed ealier, new mega projects will boost the UAE's investment in the petrochemicals industry to nearly USD12 billion by 2015 to maintain its position as a major global producer of the gas-based substance.
The investments are part of USD50 billion projects to be set up in the petrochemical sector in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which already pumps nearly 17% of the world's total chemicals output, showed the figures by the Dubai-based Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association ( GPCA ). The funds will boost the GCC's total petrochemicals investments to nearly USD250 billion in 2015

Price adjustment of TPA resulted in the lower cost of Asian PET for export markets

MOSCOW (ICIS-MRC) -- Last week, the price offer of Asian PET decreased for export markets, including the CIS countries, on a sharp correction in feedstock prices, according to MRC Price report.

Last week's price adjustment in the feedstock market led to a drop in bottle PET granulate quotations. Last week, prices of PTA fell by USD24-29/tonne. On decline in PTA prices and consumer activity, producers of PET granulate in China and Korea were forced to make concessions to buyers and lower spot prices for their production.

According to PET converters, the largest drop in prices was registered for the Chinese material. The lowest export price of Chinese bottle PET was voiced at the level of USD1,520/tonne, FOB China. Some major converters reported that there could be a discount even from the price offer stated above. Some converters believe that the price correction is temporary.

Given the logistics to Ukrainian ports, the quotation of Asian PET granulate made USD1,580/tonne, CIF Odessa, at the end of last week. It should be noted that at the beginning of last week the purchasing prices of PET for Ukrainian companies exceeded USD1,610/tonne, CIF Odessa.

The major price cut was also reported by Russian converters. So, last week the price of Asian PET for Russian buyers amounted to USD1,605-1,630/tonne, DAP Moscow.

Borealis acquires DEXPlastomers in Geleen

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis, a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals, announced that it has acquired DEXPlastomers VOF in Geleen, The Netherlands, from DSM Nederland BV and ExxonMobil Benelux Holdings BV, said Borealisgroup.

Until today, DEXPlastomers was a 50/50 joint venture ultimately owned by Royal DSM and ExxonMobil Chemical Company.

The site is located in the Chemelot industrial park, 50 kilometres away from the nearest Borealis site in Beringen, Belgium.

As MRC wrote earlier, Royal DSM, announced about its intention to sell DEXPlastomers to Borealis in November 2012.
The products manufactured in Geleen are specialty products, complementary to Borealis’ current innovative plastic solutions. The acquisition underpins Borealis’ commitment to its Value Creation through Innovation strategy as Borealis believes there is significant potential for the complementary technology.

"We are happy to welcome our new colleagues in Geleen to the Borealis Group and look forward to a successful integration," says Mark Garrett, Borealis Chief Executive. "Both companies develop innovative solutions with added value for our customers; our products are complementary and will broaden our current product portfolio."

Borealis has started the integration of the new site and its activities, a process in which safety and business continuity are key, to ensure continued punctual supply to customers.

"Borealis’ focus on safe operations and business continuity is in line with our existing way of working," comments Huug Bischoff, Managing Director of the acquired entity who will continue in his current position.