C3 Petrochemicals wins GHG permit from EPA for Texas PDH project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final greenhouse gas (GHG) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) construction permit to C3 Petrochemicals in Alvin, Texas, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

C3 plans to construct a new propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant at its existing facility near Alvin, which is south of Houston in Brazoria County.

The permit is another in the series of permits drafted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and issued by EPA under a program to facilitate timely permitting for applicants in Texas.

"The joint permitting program we have developed with TCEQ is helping Texas business and keeps a keen eye on protecting the environment," said EPA regional administrator Ron Curry. "We are working to help Texas businesses take advantage of growth opportunities while building greener facilities with better controls for greenhouse gas emissions."

The plant will convert propane to propylene, an important component of many consumer plastics. The company plans to produce polymer-grade propylene (PGP) and chemical-grade propylene (CGP). The PDH process will use a continuous catalytic regenerator that does not use combustion or steam and results in lower GHG emissions.


PPG Industries to Acquire Masterwork

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Coatings giant PPG industries Inc. 's ( PPG ) North American architectural coatings business has agreed to buy Masterwork, an independent paint distributor also based in Pittsburgh, said Nasdaq.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. However, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Masterwork operates a 13-store network in western Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. The addition of Masterwork will strengthen PPG Industries' company-owned stores network. The PPG-owned stores strive to deliver consistent and integrated customer experience.

PPG Industries is taking steps to grow its business inorganically through numerous acquisitions. The acquisition of Akzo Nobel 's ( AKZOY ) North American architectural coatings business has reinforced its branded paint product offerings and scale in the North American architectural paint market.

Moreover, in an effort to strengthen its position in the aerospace industry, PPG Industries acquired specific assets of the privately-held specialty coatings company Deft Incorporated, last year. The recent acquisition of Hi-Temp Coatings Technology also strengthened PPG Industries' protective and marine coatings business.

PPG Industries has a diversified base of products and markets, and is looking for opportunities to grow its businesses strategically along with implementation of cost controlling strategies. It should gain from continual strength across the North American automotive and aerospace market. However, the company remains exposed to factors like the yet to be recovered European market, raw material cost pressure and foreign currency headwinds.

As MRC wrote before, PPG Industries in 2013 announced the closing of the previously announced separation of its commodity chemicals business and merger of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Eagle Spinco Inc., with a subsidiary of Georgia Gulf Corporation.

PPG Industries Inc. is an Americain international company that produces paints, chemicals, optical components, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass. The company consists of more than 150 production units and offices in more than 60 countries. PPG industries is in the list of the top 500 U.S. corporations in terms of sales of. As MRC reported previously, PPG Industries plans to open its first factory in Russia near Tver. As of today, PPG Industries has no production facilities in Russia.

Avantium raises funds to pursue commercial-scale PEF resin plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bio-based materials and packaging firm Avantium has received USD50 million in financing from a group that includes beverage giant Coca-Cola Co. and blow molder Alpla Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH, said Plasticsnews.

In a June 5 news release, officials with Amsterdam-based Avantium said their firm would use the investment to advance polyethylene furanoate (PEF), a bio-based alternative to PET. The firm already is working with Coke to make bottles from the material.

The new investment will allow for industrial validation of PEF, as well as finalizing the engineering and design of the first commercial-scale plant for the product.

"PEF is a 100 percent bio-based plastic with superior performance compared to today's packaging materials and represents a tremendous market opportunity," CEO Tom van Aken said in the release. "Our proprietary YXY technology to make PEF has been proven at pilot plant scale as we are now moving to commercial deployment."
In addition to Atlanta-based Coke and Hard, Austria-based Alpla, firms involved in the new round of financing for Avantium include French food conglomerate Danone and British investment firm Swire Pacific.

Coke next generation materials and sustainability research director Yu Shi added in the release that Coke "believes performance and sustainability can go hand-in-hand to make a world of difference for consumers, the environment and our business."

Avantium currently makes PEF at a pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands. Its first commercial-scale plant — with annual capacity of 110 million pounds — is expected to be operational in 2017.

Composite One approaches USD1 billion sales mark with Nexeo deal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Composites One LLC has bought the composites distribution business of Nexeo Solutions LLC for an undisclosed price, said Plasticsnews.

The deal will allow Arlington Heights, Ill.-based Composites One to offer its "extensive product line, unmatched technical support, dependable service and delivery to more customers in the U.S. and now, across all of Canada," officials said in release.

About 100 Nexeo employees will join Composites One as a result of the transaction, including some based in offices in Dublin, Ohio; Montreal and at Nexeo’s headquarters site in The Woodlands, Texas.

Nexeo’s composites distribution business has annual sales of between USD250 million and USD300 million. Combining that with Composites One’s annual sales total of between USD600 million and USD700 million will create a massive composites distribution entity with annual sales of between USD850 million and USD1 billion.

The final deal may include some composites inventory, but won’t include any warehouses or property, officials said. Composites One has been solely owned by the Dehmlow family — through its Synergy 55 Corp. business - since 2012, when they bought out joint venture partner CCP Composites. The firm’s history dates back to 1940, when Louis H.T. Dehmlow III and two business partners founded Great Lakes Solvents in Chicago. Its current distribution mix includes resins, reinforcements, gelcoats, pigments and related products from more than 450 suppliers.

As MRC wrote before, Nexeo Solutions has announced that it has successfully completed the acquisition of Archway Sales, Inc. and Jacaab, LLC (Archway). The combined capability of Nexeo Solutions and Archway creates a full line distributor in the coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers (CASE) industry.

Nexeo was formed in 2010 when private equity firm TPG Capital paid USD930 million for the global distribution business of Ashland Inc. In the first half of its 2014 fiscal year - ended March 31 - Nexeo posted sales of almost USD2.3 billion. That total was up almost nine percent vs. sales in the first half of fiscal 2013. Nexeo’s sales are split almost evenly between chemicals and plastics, where it ranks as one of North America’s largest resin distributors.
Earlier this year, Nexeo paid USD125 million to acquire Archway Sales Inc., a St. Louis-based chemicals distributor whose product mix includes some specialty plastic resins and plastic additives. Archway’s annual sales are estimated at about USD200 million.

Huntsman develops a series of polyurethane-based footwear

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The polyurethanes division of US chemicals major Huntsman (The Woodlands, Texas) is teaming up with German fashion footwear manufacturer ara Shoes (Langenfeld) in a pre-production development project, said Plasteurope.

With signs pointing to a return of footwear manufacturing across Europe, ara called on Huntsman to assist in the development of a series of polyurethane-based prototypes ahead of the German company’s plans to open a new production line based in Portugal.

According to Huntsman, its technical resources and ability to create a replica production environment were important for the shoe manufacturer’s goals of identifying and resolving any potential production issues straight away. The samples were created at Huntsman’s footwear development centre in Belgium. The polyurethanes division has its international headquarters and global research and technology facilities situation in Everberg, near Brussels.

"Though China remains the biggest shoe manufacturing country in the world – producing around 13 bn pairs annually – labour costs have increased dramatically in recent years. Chinese wage bills are now around four times higher than they were eight years ago. While costs have been creeping up in China, European suppliers to the footwear industry have adopted a more automated approach to manufacturing – narrowing the cost differential between the regions," stated Alfons Tremml, a commercial manager for footwear at Huntsman Polyurethanes.

As MRC informed earlier, last year, Huntsman Corp. signed a definitive agreement to acquire Oxid LP, a privately-held manufacturer and marketer of specialty urethane polyols based in Houston, Texas. Oxid's polyols are a key component in the production of energy-saving polyurethane insulation products that are used in residential and commercial construction.

Huntsman Polyurethanes is one of the global leaders in MDI-based polyurethanes and serves more than 3,000 customers in 90 countries. MDI is manufactured at its Dutch site in Rozenburg near Rotterdam. Aniline and nitrobenzene – key ingredients in MDI production – are made at UK facilities in Wilton. The division also has production facilities in the US and China along with 19 downstream facilities worldwide.