Malaysia's Petronas Chemical launches $4bn IPO to fund expansion

(ICIS) -- Petronas Chemicals Group (PCG) will raise about Malaysian ringgit (M$) 12.5bn ($4bn) from its initial public offering (IPO), partly to fund future expansion plans that may include acquisitions, the company said on Monday.

The company offered a total of 2.48bn shares, of which 2.19bn shares were offered to institutional investors. For retail investors, 293m shares were on offer at M$5.05 each, it said in its prospectus sent to the Malaysian stock exchange or Bursa Malaysia.

PCG comprises the 22 petrochemicals-related companies of state-owned oil and gas major Petronas.

Retail offering of the IPO shares was launched on Monday and would close on 9 November. Institutional offering of the shares, meanwhile, would close on 12 November, when the final IPO price would be fixed, it said.

PCG shares were scheduled to start trading on the Bursa Malaysia on 26 November, the company said. Meanwhile, the company said its net profit for the first four months to July of its current financial year totalled M$814m, with revenues at M$4.22bn.

Compared to the performance of the 22 companies under Petronas in April-July 2009, PCG's numbers represent a 61% surge in net profit on a 30% increase in revenue, based on the company's prospectus.

Funding for PCG's greenfield ammonia and urea production facility off east Malaysia would come from the IPO proceeds, the company said. PCG was also planning to develop a refining and petrochemicals complex in the western part of Malaysia.


Wittmann Battenfeld invests to meet European order growth

(PRW) -- Injection machinery maker Wittmann Battenfeld is adding production capacity in its European operations to meet growing demand for its equipment and to prepare for further product line extensions.

In its first K exhibition showing since the take-over of the machinery maker by the Austrian automation and ancillaries group Wittmann, the company said it expanded production floorspace at the Wittmann group's existing robot production plant at Mosonmagyarovar in Hungary by 2,500sqm this year and is already building machine bases there.

The new manufacturing capacity is part of a ┬3m investment at the Hungarian facility. Wittmann group president and founder Werner Wittmann said the company is installing new machining capacity and a powder coating paint line, both of which will be operational by the end of the year, as part of its plans to make the Mosonmagyarovar location its centre for production of EcoPower models up to 180 tonnes.

Expansion of production capacity at the Hungarian plant is necessary to meet growing order books and to enable the company to move ahead with plans to extend the upper limit of its MacroPower models to 1,600 tonnes, he said. Currently the company only has capacity to produce machines to 1,000 tonnes a its plant at Kottingbrunn in Austria.


India's annual PP consumption could grow 30%

(PRW) -- Growth rates for polypropylene and other commodity resins should average 15-30% annually in India for the next several years, according to Kamal Nanavaty, cracker and polymers sector president with Indian plastics leader Reliance Industries.

The Indian plastics sector consumes almost 18 billion pounds of resin per year. That number is expected to double in the next five years, Nanavaty said in an interview at K 2010. Likewise, India's current annual BOPP film capacity of 1.1 billion pounds is expected to double during that same period. Nanavaty cited India's growing consumer retail base and changing lifestyles as reasons for this growth.

Nanavaty declined to comment on Reliance's growth plans, but he said that Indian companies other than Reliance will add 3.5 billion pounds of polyethylene capacity and 2.6 billion pounds of PP capacity by the end of 2013.

The global economic crisis also didn't have much of an impact on India's plastics growth, according to Nanavaty. Nanavaty also is anticipating the start of an Asian ⌠super cycle in 2014, when plastic demand will outstrip supply for many years.

Mumbai-based Reliance dominates India's plastic resin sector with a 70% market share. The firm ranks as the world's fourth-largest PP maker, based on annual capacity.


W&H introduces 5-layer blown film lines

(China Plastic & Rubber Journal) -- Windmoller & Holscher (W&H) believes the VAREX 5-layer blown film line that produces film with 1000 kg/hour, to be a world record in polyolefin film output.

The new 5-layer VAREX blown film line produced at the K2010 is along with the new 5-layer 400 mm MAXICONE P die, which was developed specifically for innovative polyolefin-based film structures.

Recognizing a need in the market, W&H worked with resin manufacturer ExxonMobil Chemical, one of the world's leading manufacturers of metallocene polyethylene (mPE), to create a new generation of 5-layer films using a polyolefin base. The results are improved film properties as well as thinner films (downgauged) compared to conventional 3-layer films on the market. The new films achieve a substantial reduction of raw materials, a priority for W&H under their "greenovation" philosophy.


Chemtura brings back Great Lakes name

(Plastics News) -- Chemtura Corp. is bringing back a name that's familiar in the chemical industry, making Great Lakes Solutions the name of its flame retardant, brominated performance products and fumigants business.

Chemtura announced the Great Lakes Solutions brand name at K 2010. Chemtura also introduced a new Emerald-brand series of flame retardant products at the show. The introduction includes three products, marketed as green alternatives to existing flame retardants, and targeted at the electrical/electronics and construction sectors.

Chemtura Corporation, with 2009 sales of $2.5 billion, was formed in 2005 with the merger of Crompton Corporation and Great Lakes Chemical Corporation. Chemtura has approximately 4,000 employees in research, manufacturing, sales and administrative facilities in every major market of the world. Company is a leading global supplier of plastic additives, including flame retardants; the largest component supplier to the lubricants industry; and a top global producer of urethane polymers.