Arkema to construct organic peroxide plant in the Middle East

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema, the world’s second largest producer of organic peroxides, and Saudi investment company Watan Industrial Investment have signed an agreement for the construction of an organic peroxide production site on the Al Jubail platform, Saudi Arabia, according to the company's press release.

The facility, requiring an investment of about USD 30 million, will be the very first organic peroxide plant in the Middle East region.

This investment will enable Arkema to bolster its leading position in organic peroxides, and illustrates its strategy to expand its High Performance Materials segment and strengthen its presence in fast-growing countries, where the Group aims to achieve 30% of its sales by 2016.

Organic peroxides are widely used as polymerization initiators in the thermoplastic industry. This new world-scale plant will be able to supply all petrochemical players in the Middle East and support their strong growth anticipated by 2020 by offering them a secure and flexible local supply service. Production will focus in particular on organic peroxides stored at low temperature, with safe and secure logistics services provided by a local player.

As MRC informed previously, Arkema, a France-based chemical manufacturer, has recently declared a project to divest its tin stabilizer business to PMC Group, a New Jersey-based performance plastics and chemicals manufacturer. This planned divestment of organometallic products includes Fascat catalysts, Thermolite tin stabilizers and fine chemicals. Therefore, Arkema strives to refocus its activities on expanding core specialty businesses. On the basis of tin chemistry, Thermolite heat stabilizers are specifically utilized in the manufacturing pf PVC, which is mainly used in the construction sector, whereas Fascat catalysts are utilized in automotive specialties as well as in other applications.

The Arkema - Watan Industrial Investment joint venture will be majority held by Arkema, with the latter overseeing the operational management and sales of the site. The plant’s startup is scheduled in the first months of 2015.

Watan Industrial Investment is a private Saudi company established in 2007 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Watan core business is investing in industrial projects which cover different sectors benefitting from the continuous growth of the Saudi economy specially in chemicals and petrochemicals. Watan is presently active in the field of industrial gases in venture with a large US producer and supplies the largest Saudi petrochemical companies.

Arkema is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc.

Stavrolen resumed production of polymers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Stavrolen (group Lukoil) resumed production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) on Saturday, 5, October, following unscheduled shutdown on 1, October, according to MRC.

The shutdown was caused by the technical problems at the production of ethylene.

Stavrolen' s production capacity of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene is 300,000 tonnes/year and 120,000 tonnes/year respectively.

The company produced about 205,000 tonnes of HDPE and 85,000 tonnes of PP in the eight months of this year.


Brazil judge dismisses case against Chevron and Transocean

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A Brazilian federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against No. 2 US oil company Chevron Corp after approving a negotiated settlement, a decision that closes a nearly two-year legal battle over an oil spill in November 2011, reported Reuters.

Brazilian prosecutors sought 40 billion reais (USD18 billion) in damages from Chevron and offshore drilling contractor Transocean Ltd for a 3,600-barrel leak in the Frade offshore oil field Chevron operates northeast of Rio de Janeiro.

Prosecutors also filed criminal charges against the companies and 17 of their employees. A judge rejected those charges, but prosecutors are appealing.

The dismissal came after Judge Raffaele Felice Pirro of the federal court in Rio de Janeiro accepted an "adjustment of conduct" deal with Chevron that commits the company to spending about 300 million reais (USD135 million) in compensatory activities. Chevron and the government agencies that signed the accord said Transocean had no responsibility for the spill.

Both Chevron and Transocean welcomed the decision in short statements from their press offices. Chevron added that 95.2 million reais, or about a third of the initial settlement value, will be spent on social and environmental programs approved by prosecutors, the ANP and environmental protection agency Ibama.

We remind that, as MRC informed earlier, Chevron was cited for fines worth almost USD1 million stemming from a major fire at its refinery in Richmond, Calif. A fire broke out in a crude distillation unit (CDU) at Chevron's 245,000 bpd Richmond refinery near San Francisco, California, forcing the closure of much of the facility. The fire lasted for hours, sending plumes of black smoke over the San Francisco Bay and causing an estimated 15,000 local residents to visit emergency rooms. Chevron replaced pipes in at least one other US refinery based on a check of facilities following the August fire, since on-going investigations of the accident focused on corroded pipes found in the crude-distillation unit, where the fire started.

Chevron Corporation is an American multinational energy corporation headquartered in San Ramon, California, United States, and active in more than 180 countries. It is engaged in every aspect of the oil, gas, and geothermal energy industries, including exploration and production; refining, marketing and transport; chemicals manufacturing and sales; and power generation. Chevron is one of the world's six "supermajor" oil companies.

Clariant opens newest co-creation center to aid plastics product developers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in Specialty Chemicals, has announced the grand opening of ColorWorks North America, the newest in a global network of co-creation centers built to bring color into the early stages of plastic product and packaging design, according to the company's press release.

The opening culminates nearly three years of planning and renovation and represents a major investment by Clariant in support of customers in the USA and Canada.

The new center is located in West Chicago, Illinois, USA, conveniently close to the City of Chicago and two major airports. ColorWorks North America occupies the second floor of a building that also houses a Clariant Masterbatches color compounding operation that is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world. The plant produces masterbatches - color and/or additive concentrates used in making plastic products - in both pelletized and liquid form. This unbiased approach means ColorWorks can develop solutions in any form - pellet, liquid or even pre-colored compounds - that the customer prefers.

ColorWorks is the highly specialized color creation service of Clariant Masterbatches, tailored especially to the creative development needs of brand companies. The center in West Chicago is one of several such sites around the world that are aimed at helping companies accelerate new products to market and use color more effectively to cultivate brand recognition and value. The facility has a significant competence in packaging, but is able to serve any market, from automotive to appliance, household and consumer goods, electrical/electronic, furniture, medical, etc.

As MRC reported earlier, this summer, Clariant and Tasnee, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Saudi Arabia, announced the signing of an agreement to establish a masterbatches joint venture in Saudi Arabia. Within the framework of the agreement, through its 100% subsidiary Rowad National Plastic Company Ltd., Tasnee will acquire a 40% stake in Clariant’s masterbatches operations in the country, already operating under the name Clariant Masterbatches (Saudi Arabia) Ltd. The joint venture will be operational following completion of customary merger control clearance procedures and will keep its main focus on the Arabic peninsulas core market.

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.

KraussMaffei strengthens injection moulding activities in Italy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- With effect from 16 September 2013, the KraussMaffei Group will bring its injection moulding activities of the Netstal and KraussMaffei brands together under one roof in Italy, reported GV.

Management of the subsidiary KraussMaffei Group Italia will be in the hands of Andrea Bottelli, the previous head of Netstal's Italian subsidiary. KraussMaffei Group Italia s.r.l. in Cerro Maggiore, the location of the former Italian subsidiary of Netstal, will market all sales activities of the Netstal and KraussMaffei brands in the area of injection moulding machinery. Both brands will continue to be independently represented on the market.

The subsidiary Krauss Maffei Italiana will in future concentrate solely as a "centre of excellence" on business activities in the Reaction Process Machinery segment under the aegis of Gabriele Amodeo.

"KraussMaffei has in recent years built up a centre of excellence for Reaction Process Machinery in Abbiategrasso and is very well positioned to serve customers from the industrial white appliances sector in particular. Our aim is to further strengthen this centre of excellence under the proven leadership of Gabriele Amodeo." said Nicolas Beyl, President of the Reaction Process Machinery Segment in the KraussMaffei Group. Gianmario Bossi, who was also previously responsible for Injection moulding Machinery Sales, will in future concentrate solely on Reaction Process Machinery Sales.

As MRC informed previously, this summer, Azenco, the largest company in the construction industry in Azerbaijan, again selected KraussMaffei Berstorff as the system supplier for high-tech plastics processing machines. The order from Azenco's head office in Baku contains several twin-screw extruders in the 32D series for window profile extrusion and rubber profile extrusion machines for window and pipe seals. KraussMaffei's 17 pipe extrusion lines for producing PE, PP-R, PP and PVC pipes, as well as individual extruders for producing corrugated pipes, have been supplied to Azenco since 2010.

The KraussMaffei Group is among the world’s leading suppliers of machinery and systems for producing and processing plastics and rubber. Company's international customers come from a very wide range of industrial sectors, including the automotive, building, consumer goods, electrical, electronics, chemicals, medical and pharmaceutical industries and white goods.