Arkema has turned ecotechnologies into reality

(Plastemart) -- At K 2010, Arkema is showcasing its extensive range of specialty polymers, the concrete embodiment of its R&D (Research&Development) drive to develop innovative chemicals that increasingly focus on the challenges of sustainable development.

Bio-sourced plastics today account for 30% of Arkema's technical polymer business, taking up around 2/3rds of its R&D activity. These plastics feature properties that are equivalent or superior to those of their fossil-fuel-based counterparts.

Arkema's expertise in castor oil chemistry for over 60 years with its Rilsan polyamide 11, 100% derived from this chemistry, recently helped bring out four new polymers: Pebax Rnew, a biosourced elastomer up to 90% derived from castor oil, Platamid Rnew, the first hotmelt adhesive entirely of renewable origin, Rilsan Clear Rnew, the first transparent 54% biosourced polyamide, Rilsan HT, an ultra tough high temperature polymer fulfilling today's general need for lighter materials.


Kuraray adding cast coextrusion line to tech center

(Plastics News) -- Kuraray Co. Ltd.'s Eval unit plans to install a Davis-Standard 7-layer cast coextrusion film and sheet lab line with a Cloeren NanoLayer feedblock and die at its research and technical center in Pasadena, Texas.

The Osaka, Japan-based company will use the line to help customers develop products such as food and medical packaging, agricultural films, and building and construction products.

The company is investing more than $1 million in the lab line, which will be equipped with five extruders. Installation will begin in December, and the line will be available for trials in April.

Kuraray was founded in 1926 for the purpose of commercializing synthetic rayon, which was cutting edge technology at the time. In 1950, as Japan's first domestic producer of synthetic fiber based on original Japanese technologies, Kuraray became a world leader in the commercialization of PVA (poval) fiber under the KURALON brand, ushering in Japan's pioneering era in the chemical synthetic fiber industry.


BASF expects record year in 2010

(BASF) -- Demand for BASF's products continued to be high in the third quarter of 2010. There was hardly any sign of the usual seasonal slowdown and the capacity utilization rate was high.

In this favorable economic environment, BASF's business performed better than anticipated. The good business development is expected to continue in the fourth quarter and BASF has therefore raised its outlook for the current year.

Dr. Jurgen Hambrecht, Chairman of BASF's Board of Executive Directors said: ⌠We are now profiting from the favorable economic environment because we further improved our competitiveness in the crisis and made our portfolio even more cyclically resilient through the rapid integration of Ciba.

Net income increased by ┬1 billion to ┬1.2 billion. At 33.4%, the tax rate was lower than in the third quarter of 2009. This was mainly due to the lower earnings contribution from the highly-taxed Oil & Gas segment.

Cash provided by operating activities increased to the high level of ┬5.3 billion. This was partly due to a decrease in net working capital in the third quarter despite continued strong demand.


The fourth week blockades at oil refineries in France

(BBC) -- French unions and protesters are mounting another day of strikes and action over the government's pension reform. Aviation officials predict half of flights at Paris Orly airport will be cancelled and 30% at other airports.

Trains, post offices, schools and public services will all be affected again.

Rolling strikes and blockades at oil refineries are continuing and are now into a fourth week, continuing to inconvenience travellers and businesses.

Eleven of France's 12 refineries were closed on Wednesday and fuel imports into France have now risen to more than four times their normal levels.


SABIC delegation launches SABIC Morocco Headquarters

(SABIC) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), along with a high-level delegation, celebrated the inauguration of the SABIC Morocco Headquarters in Rabat, Morocco, on October 25, 2010.

The inauguration of SABIC Morocco Headquarters, the company's regional center for the company's business in North and West Africa, reflects the growing importance of the polymers, chemicals and fertilizers regional and global markets.

SABIC has served the Moroccan and African markets with its products for a quarter of a century.

The enhanced presence in Morocco also ties into the ongoing industrial transformation taking place in the country, including new companies serving the automotive industry sector≈a number that is expected to reach 200 companies that will benefit from SABIC's Innovative Plastics products and engineering solutions.

In North and West Africa SABIC looks forward to better serving the needs of customers in the region with increased sales of chemicals, polymers, fertilizers and engineering thermoplastics.