Dow breaks ground for acrylic and styrene-acrylic polymers plant in Vietnam

(Plastemart) -- Dow Advanced Materials, a division of The Dow Chemical Co., has broken ground on a new manufacturing facility in Dong Nai Province in southern Vietnam for the production of acrylic and styrene-acrylic polymers used in the paint, coatings, construction, packaging, home and personal care industries.

The new plant, scheduled to go on-stream in September 2011, will be shared by three Dow Advanced Materials businesses≈Dow Coating Materials (DCM), Dow Building & Construction (DB&C), and Dow Adhesives & Functional Polymers (AFP).

"Growing demand for our polymers from global and local paint and coating manufacturers located in Vietnam was the primary driver for building the new plant," said Yoke Loon Lim, general manager, Southeast Asia, Dow Advanced Materials. "More than 90% of our capacity will be sold to Vietnam-based customers, the majority of which are multi-national companies."

Paint and coatings customers use DCM acrylic and styrene-acrylic based specialty polymers as binders, rheology modifiers, and other additives for the development of a wide range of architectural and industrial products.


Plastipak developed hot-fill technology for beverage packaging

(China Plastic & Rubber Journal) -- Plastipak Packaging has developed a lightweight hot-fill technology for the non-refrigerated beverage sector, which the company claims will help increase the shelf-life of products by up to 12 months.

The company said its ThermoShape technology offers alternative packaging for the acid-sensitive beverage and food market segments.

The technology also enables bottles to be 30% lighter than a typical PET hot-fill bottle of similar volume.


Slow recovery of petrochemical facilities in France

(Plastemart) -- France's Fos-Lavera petrochem terminal has been cleared after 33 days of strike that paralyzed the country's petrochem industry. The protest at the Fos-Lavera oil terminals at Marseille stranded 38 crude carriers and 20 product tankers.

Protests broke out at France's ports on September 27 and escalated over President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reform. As a result, France, the second-biggest refining center in Europe after Germany, was forced to halt production from at least 9 of 11 active facilities in France and one in Switzerland.

France's 11 active refineries can process 1.84 million barrels of oil a day, according to Bloomberg data. Oil companies began to halt production as early as Oct. 10 because of the strike actions. As union tensions started to ebb, petrochemical players in France are slowly restarting their plants.


Petro Rabigh resumes refining operations

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- The Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Company (Petro Rabigh) in Saudi Arabia has resumed operations at its refinery after a power outage caused the complex to shutdown on Saturday 23 October. The company said that it had begun the process of restarting the cracker and derivative units.

The shutdown is the second in 10 days, and follows a problem at its polyethylene unit number one, caused by a compressor malfunction. The company resumed work at the unit after 24 hours.

Petro Rabigh has for the first time this week announced detailed financial statements of its sales. The disclosure reveals that its refining sector posted gross losses of US$418 million during the first nine months 2010, whereas its petrochemical division posted gross profits of $538 million.


Al Waha completes performance test of PP plant

(Arabian Oiland Gas) -- Saudi based Sahara Petrochemical Company has completed the performance tests at its polypropylene plant in Jubail through its subsidiary Al Waha Petrochemical Company, according to a statement by Sahara.

Al Waha had successfully produced the ⌠HECO grade of the polypropylene, which is classified as the purest grade of polypropylene that can be produced through Spherizone technology.

The ⌠HECO grade is generally characterised by its high quality and high cost, according to the company. Al Waha has conducted three different successful tests to produce different grades of polypropylene.