BASF increases prices for polymer dispersions, polymer powders and resins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF, the largest diversified chemical company in the world, will increase prices in Europe, Africa and Western Asia for straight acrylic and acrylic styrene polymer dispersions, reported the company on its site.

Prices will rise by up to EUR80/tonne and for redispersible acrylic powders and acrylic resins - by up to EUR120/tonne with effect from October 15, 2013, or as contracts allow.

The price increase is necessary due to the significant rise in the cost of raw materials.

The products affected by the price increase are used as polymers for construction chemicals and fiber bonding.

As MRC wrote previously, in September 2013, SIBUR, a leading Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company, and the German chemicals giant BASF signed a long-term cooperation memorandum to supply additives used for polymer production and processing at SIBUR’s production facilities. The deal provides for supplies of additives used to produce polypropylene, polyethylene, synthetic rubbers, thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), and ABS plastics at SIBUR's production facilities, with BASF ensuring also technical support.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries. BASF had sales of EUR72.1 billion in 2012.

Vladimir Putin started modern production of polypropylene in Tobolsk

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin started today a complex on production of polypropylene in the Tyumen region worth 60 billion rubles, said Ru-facts.

Start to new production of petrochemical holding SIBUR was given today by the president of Russia Vladimir Putin. Earlier the head of state examined the automated line of packing and packing of finished goods where polypropylene in the form of coarse-grained powder is packaged in bags then goes to consumers.

As the vice-chairman of board of SIBUR Holding Mikhail Karisalov told to Vladimir Putin, the plant in Tobolsk lets out to 60 brands of polypropylene which is applied in the most various areas, beginning from disposable tableware and finishing automobile details.

The Tobolsk Polymer complex consists of two installations: productions of propylene with a power of 510 thousand tons per year and production of polypropylene with a power of 500 thousand tons per year. The complex is located near other production of SIBUR – Tobolsk-Neftekhim from which the raw materials (600 thousand tons of propane a year) will arrive. "The manufacturing techniques of polypropylene are connected with propane and propylene dehydrogenation. In this regard implementation of the project will allow to process annually over 600 thousand tons of the propane made from associated oil gas", – noted in SIBUR.

Having brought into new production into operation, SIBUR expects to become one of three largest global manufacturers of this polymer.

Construction was conducted both on means of holding, and with attraction of a project financing (the main creditor – VEB which has opened a credit line on 1,441 billion dollars). More than 320 companies participated in the project, in peak of works on a platform more than six thousand builders from the Russian Federation and other countries were involved.

Let’s remind, polypropylene is included into the three of the plastic compounds most widespread in the world. It is chemically inert material from which make food container and packing, details of cars, pipes for a water supply system, medical devices and many other things.

Styrolution and Braskem to explore ABS joint venture in Brazil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, and Braskem, the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in America and a global leader in biopolymers, has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to investigate the formation of a joint venture in Brazil, reported Styrolution on its site.

The proposed 100,000 tonne plant would supply specialty styrenics, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) copolymers, to customers in Brazil and throughout South America.

With a population of over 200 million and an estimated gross domestic product of over USD 2.3 trillion, the Brazilian market is robust. In recent years, Brazil has seen significant growth in the household appliance and automotive industries, both of which are key consumers of the specialty styrenics the joint venture would produce.

Traditionally, ABS and SAN have been imported into the region by styrenics providers like Styrolution. The new company would seek to capitalize on the favorable market dynamics to create a domestic and regional producer offering customers more localized service and greater security of supply.

The consummation of the joint venture is subject to regulatory and antitrust approvals.

It is planned that Styrolution would be the majority shareholder with 70% and Braskem holding 30%.

Subject to an agreement by both parties to proceed and provided relevant approvals are obtained, groundbreaking for the site could be expected as early as 2015 with production likely starting in 2017.

The proposed partnership would be an important step towards strengthening the petrochemical sector in Brazil.

As MRC informed previously, this August, Styrolution announced the start-up of its Luran S plant located in Ulsan, South Korea. Luran S belongs to Styrolution's specialties portfolio, which is well-known for its innovation, quality and customizability. It is the brand name for Styrolution's styrene acrylonitrile copolymers that have been impact-modified with acrylic ester rubber, acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA). It is used in outdoor applications in various industries including automotive, electrical & electronics, building & construction, as well as sports & leisure. The new plant has a capacity of 43,000 mt per year, complementing current ASA capacity in Europe and North America.

The Styrolution Group GmbH is a global provider of styrenics , headquartered in Frankfurt am Main. The company is a joint venture between BASF (50%) and INEOS (50%), were merged into the main styrene operations of the two partners. Its main focus is on the production of monomer, polystyrene, styrenic specialties, and ABS. The company offers styrene plastics for a variety of everyday products from different industries , such as automotive, electronics, construction, household, leisure, packaging, medicine and health.

Braskem is Brazilian main producer of polyethylene and polypropylene. In addition with ongoing plants located in both petrochemical complexes, in April 2008 Braskem opened a 300,000 metric ton polypropylene plant in the city of Paulinia (Sao Paulo).

Clariant divests detergents and intermediates business to ICIG

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has signed an agreement to divest its Detergents & Intermediates business to International Chemical Investors Group (ICIG), for CHF 58 million, out of which 20 million will be in cash at closing, said Clariant in its press-release.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals. In 2012, the Detergents & Intermediates business generated around CHF 280 million in reported sales. The business employs around 660 employees in Europe, predominantly in Germany and France.

"Having successfully closed the sale of the first three businesses two weeks ago, the divestment of Detergents & Intermediates marks the next step in streamlining our portfolio. Once completed, the repositioning of the portfolio will allow the group to focus on exploiting its strong market positions and intensify growth by focusing on customers and innovation," said Hariolf Kottmann, CEO, Clariant.

Achim Riemann, Managing Director, ICIG, commented, "The Clariant Detergents & Intermediates business ideally complements our fine chemicals and custom manufacturing operations, providing also the basis for a new detergents platform together with our US hydrotropes & batch sulfonation business of Nease Corp. Together with the recently announced acquisition of Allessa we expect to realise signifcant synergies in the Rhein Main region, expecting to grow ICIG combined sales to more than Euro 1.2 billion."

Repositioning Clariant’s portfolio is an essential part of the company’s profitable growth strategy. To achieve the targets set for 2015, Clariant will focus on markets with future perspectives and strong growth rates and on businesses that have a competitive position, resulting in strong pricing power. In this context, the company has divested the Business Units Textile Chemicals, Paper Specialties and the Business Unit Emulsions on 30 September 2013 and signed an agreement for the Business Unit Detergents & Intermediates. With the planned divestment of the Business Unit Leather Services, the repositioning of Clariant’s portfolio will be completed in the coming quarters.

As MRC wrote before, Clariant announced the closing of the sale of its Textile Chemicals, Paper Specialties and Emulsions businesses to SK Capital. Starting 1 October 2013, the three former Clariant businesses are now operating under the name Archroma.

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.


KAUSTIK (Volgograd) resumed its PVC production

MOSCOW (MRC) - KAUSTIK (Volgograd), the third largest producer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in Russia, has resumed production after a scheduled maintenance works, according to MRC.

Yesterday, on 14 October, KAUSTIK (Volgograd) resumed PVC production after the scheduled turnaround, which began on 26 September and finished after three weeks.

The PVC production capacity at KAUSTIK is 90,000 tonnes/year.

The company produced about 70,000 tonnes of resin in the nine months of this year.