Arkema raises price of its Forane refrigerant blends

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema, a France-based chemical manufacturer, has announced a price increase by 15% in Europe as of 1 June, 2014 on the Forane range of products, reported the company on its site.

These price increases are effective excluding existing contractual obligations and includes the following grades: Forane 404A, Forane 407A, Forane 407C, Forane 410A, Forane 427A, Forane 507.

These products are designed for air conditioning and low and medium temperature refrigeration systems (industrial, commercial, domestic and transport).

As MRC wrote before, Arkema raised prices of its whole Evatane range (high content ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer) by EUR150/tonne from April 1, 2014. This increase was due to rough market conditions, including the world wide unavailability of vinyl acetate monomer.

Marketed under the trademark Evatane, Arkema's EVA resins are used in highly diverse industrial applications, including hot-melt, cable, multilayer packaging film, technical polymer modification, solar panel, petroleum additives, bitumen and ink.

Arkema with annual revenue of EUR6.4 billion is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc.

Polymir resumed LDPE production

MOSCOW (MRC) - Polymir (Concern Naftan), the only Belarusian producer of low density polyethylene (LDPE), resumed production after a two-week shutdown for maintenance works, according to MRC analysts.

Polymir resumed operation of the first LDPE train (108 and 102 lines) on Tuesday, 3 June following scheduled maintenance works. LDPE production capacity of the train is 65,000 tonnes/year.

Export trades for Belarusian polyethylene for the delivery in the first half of June were also held on 3 June.

Polymir was founded in 1968 in Novopolotsk. The company used technologies of the largest foreign companies from Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Italy (Courtaulds, Asahi Chemical Co. Ltd, Kanematsu Gosho, SNIA BPD, etc).

The producer's annual LDPE production capacity is 130,000 tonnes. According MRC ScanPlast, Polymir produced 42,900 tonnes of LDPE in the first four months in 2014.

Linde, Siluria to partner on ethylene technologies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Siluria Technologies, a pioneer in the commercial production of fuels and chemicals made from natural gas, has entered into a collaboration agreement with gases and engineering company The Linde Group, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The primary objective of the agreement is to combine each company's technologies and expertise into an optimized and integrated package, which Linde would license to the petrochemicals industry for both revamps or expansions at existing ethylene plants and for new world-scale ethylene plants.

Over the past six months, Linde says it has completed a technical and economic diligence process on Siluria's oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) technology, which catalytically converts methane directly to ethylene. The success of this joint diligence effort resulted in the formation of this partnership.

The companies have formed joint teams, which will fully integrate the company's respective technologies and collaborate through the final scale-up and demonstration of the OCM technology at the previously announced demonstration plant that Siluria is constructing at Braskem's site in La Porte, Texas.

"Our technology platform can enable a diverse set of opportunities ranging from solutions to flared gas, to large-scale gas monetization, to specific industry applications such as refining and LNG terminals," said Ed Dineen, CEO of Siluria Technologies. "However, our top two priorities are the ethylene industry and the Midstream or gas processing industry. So establishing this partnership with the top technology provider in the ethylene business at such an important time in the industry is a great fit for us.

The companies expect to offer the technologies to the broader ethylene industry in the second half of 2015. Siluria is currently engaged in feasibility studies with selected operating companies in the ethylene industry focused on the initial commercial deployments.

Solvay opens research and innovation center in Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay has opened its new Research and Innovation (R&I) center at Ewha Womans University in South Korea, to work closely with key Asian customers and universities to develop products for the booming battery, electronics and car markets, said the company in the press-release.

The R&I center in Seoul is Solvay’s fourth in Asia and will employ some 60 scientists by the end of 2015. It brings Solvay close to leading industrial players and customers in the strategically located country and region, which facilitates partnerships to develop products and solutions according to their specific needs.

The R&I center will harbor Solvay’s new electronics laboratory to develop Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) display and lighting technologies, following its recent acquisition of Plextronics. Research will also target materials for the high-growth, high value-added markets of lithium-ion batteries to enable optimal energy storage, and the development of new materials that reduce energy use of cars.

"Solvay’s ambition to become a global, innovative leader will clearly benefit from exchanging and enriching know-how with researchers and industries here in South Korea," said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay.

The opening of the center comes after Solvay and Ewha signed their agreement in 2011. It also includes the move of Solvay’s Global Business Unit Special Chemicals to the campus, from where it will serve as a hub in the region. Special Chemicals’ leading-edge technologies already serve Asia’s fast-growing electronics market.

As MRC wrote before, Solvay opened a new Research & Innovation center in Singapore in February 2014, which will be the Group’s core innovation ground for its Consumer Chemicals growth engine in the Asia-Pacific region.

Solvay and research-oriented Ewha will also partner with other top universities for long-term scientific projects. Solvay will sponsor scholarships for highly talented women, provide international internships for Ewha students and take part in key scientific conferences. This partnership positions Solvay among the main foreign players within South Korea’s scientific eco-system.


Clariant and Siemens to introduce new sour gas shift technology for coal gasification

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has announced that it has signed an agreement with Siemens Fuel Gasification Technology to cooperate in the commercialization of a new, jointly developed sour gas shift (SGS) technology for coal gasification, as per the company's press release.

The agreement appoints Clariant as the exclusive catalyst supplier for all Siemens gasification integrated SGS projects. While the collaboration covers all global projects, commercialization will focus on China - the region with the highest growth rate of coal-to-chemical projects.

Stefan Heuser, Head of the Catalysts Business Unit at Clariant, stated: "This global cooperation is a very important step in marketing our innovative catalysts for coal-to-chemical applications. With its strong commercialization focus on China, the cooperation supports Clariant’s strategy to increase our presence in the growing markets of Asia."

The advanced SGS technology from Clariant and Siemens significantly decreases total capital cost for coal-to-chemical and IGCC applications through optimization and simplification of total plant concepts. The entrained-flow Siemens Fuel Gasifier (SFG) is able to produce syngas from a wide range of fuels - even for low ranks of coal.

Clariant’s new ShiftMax 821 catalyst enables a simple, once-through process without further adjustment of the exit gas from the gasifier. The simplified layout uses smaller and fewer reactors, and requires no steam adjustment for temperature control. This combination reduces capital expenditure for the shift system by up to 20%, and optimizes operating costs with up to 30% lower catalyst volume.

The new technique can handle different steam-to-gas ratios and high carbon monoxide content in the gas, resulting in improved availability and reliability of the whole process.

As MRC reported earlier, Clariant Chemicals (India ) Ltd., an affiliate of Clariant AG, a world leader in specialty chemicals, announced in April the successful closure of the acquisition of Plastichemix Industries - a Gujarat based masterbatches business in India, with production facilities at Rania, Kalol and Nandesari. Clariant in India will now be one of the leading masterbatches producer, that will offer a wide range of products like black, white, additive, filler & colour masterbatches, flushed pigments & mono-concentrates and engineering plastics compounds.

Clariant’s Catalysts Business Unit is one of the foremost global suppliers of process catalysts. Its broad portfolio includes catalysts that enable the use of coal as feedstock, which are particularly well-suited to the needs of China’s industry. Clariant’s previous investments in the market include commercialization of the first coal-to-propylene catalysts in China, and local production of coal-to-methanol catalysts. Clariant is also the market leader in catalysts for coal-to-ammonia conversion.

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.