Mitsubishi Rayon and Mitsui sign MOU to study MMA production JV in USA

МОSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Rayon Co. (MRC) and Mitsui & Co. have signed a memorandum of understanding to undertake detailed feasibility studies for establishing a joint venture in the U.S. to build a methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer unit, said Apic-online.

The plant, for which a specific location has not yet been decided, is expected to have 250,000 t/y of MMA capacity based on the Alpha technology developed by MRC's Lucite International subsidiary.

MRC and Mitsui said they have also entered into a non-binding material terms of agreement with Dow Chemical. This agreement concerns "potential partial supply of feedstock from Dow to the joint venture through Mitsui" for the production of MMA and potential supply of a portion of the MMA from the joint venture to Dow.

The joint venture intends to secure access to ethylene from Dow's U.S. Gulf Coast production network. MMA production is expected to start at the end of 2018.

As MRC wrote before, Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) have announced the formation of a joint venture company, to build and operate two plants – one for Methyl Methacrylate (MMA), and the other for Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) – at one of SABIC’s manufacturing affiliates in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

Celanese launches EVA emulsions for nonwovens

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company and a global leader in vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE) emulsion polymers, has announced the European region re-launch of its industry-leading line of Elite Ultra dispersions for use in nonwovens, specialty papers and other associated industries, reported the company on its site.

The result is the new Vinamul Elite 15 with firmer hand, and Vinamul Elite 25 with softer hand for use in wipes, tabletop and hygiene applications.

The newly released products offer lower odor through a reduction in total volatile organic compounds (VOCs), higher solids content, and a potential for carbon dioxide reduction versus older generation products. Both Vinamul Elite products still feature high dry and wet tensile strength, good absorbency and are APE-surfactant free.

"In collaboration with our customers to find fresh, innovative solutions that meet their product development needs, Celanese identified a solution for higher solids in the emulsion and responded with the Vinamul Elite series," said Peter Zeimentz, segment manager for the Celanese emulsion polymers business.

These new Vinamul Elite products will be available throughout Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

As MRC wrote previously, Celanese Corporation has recently developed new emulsion products for architectural paints. The company also expanded its product portfolio for the coatings and adhesives industries, including Celansese's solvents, vinyl acetate monomer, EVA polymers and emulsions. Thus, the company's new emulsion products - EcoVAE 450, Avicor 385 and Avicor 390 - represent solutions to many of the industry's issues including low-VOC primers, stain resistance and broad formulation latitude.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Texas, Celanese employs approximately 7,400 employees worldwide and had 2013 net sales of USD6.5 billion.

A. Schulman announces regular cash dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Board of Directors of A. Schulman, Inc., , a global plastic supplier, has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of USD0.20 per common share, payable August 1, 2014, to shareholders of record on July 18, 2014, reported the company on its site.

Last year,the Board of Directors of A. Schulman, declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of USD0.20 per common share, payable November 4, 2013, to shareholders of record on October 28, 2013, which represented a 2.6% increase over the prior quarter's dividend payout. The dividend on an annualized basis now stands at USD0.80 per share, and represents a yield of approximately 3%.

As MRC reported earlier, last September, A. Schulman, Inc. purchased the Perrite Group, a thermoplastics manufacturing business with operations in Malaysia, the United Kingdom and France, for approximately USD52 million. Perrite was part of the Vita Group portfolio of companies. The acquisition was expected to increase revenues in A. Schulman's Asia Pacific (APAC) segment by 35% and doubled the size of the company's existing Engineered Plastics business in the region.

Perrite has manufactured and distributed thermoplastic compounds for the electrical, automotive and industrial markets for more than 35 years, offering a broad portfolio of standard and custom compounded polymer products. Perrite's product lines include the high-performance Ronfalin ABS brand and prime-quality polyamide Vitamide range. Other key brands include Percom polypropylene, Perlex polycarbonate, Styralin polystyrene and Pertal POM. Perrite employs approximately 220 people and recorded revenues of USD140 million in fiscal 2012.

A. Schulman is a global plastics supplier, headquartered in Akron, Ohio, and a leading international supplier of high-performance plastic compounds and resins, which are used as raw materials in a variety of markets. The company employs approximately 3,500 people and has 38 manufacturing facilities globally. A. Schulman reported net sales of USD2.1 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2013.

Engel and Fill to work together on future composites development

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Injection molding technology group Engel Holding GmbH has signed a partnership agreement with fiber preform machinery group Fill GmbH to cooperate on composites manufacturing, said Plasticsnews.

The two companies, both based in the Upper Austrian region, will work together to produce "turnkey solutions for the industrial manufacturing of fiber-reinforced plastic components," they said in a news release. "The aim of our partnership is to meet the demands of the market even more effectively and drive the industrialization of composite processes forward even faster," said Franz Fureder, vice president of Engel Austria’s automotive business unit. "We are delighted that in Fill we have found a partner whose technologies are also the world's best and who, like Engel, prioritizes research and development."

Fill, based in Gurten, Austria, makes a wide range of machinery, including metal machining and polyurethane processing equipment. For the automotive sector, it has developed resin transfer molding (RTM) technology as well as its Preformliner technology which converts two-dimensional fiber textiles into three dimensional forms. BMW AG uses Preformliner and high pressure RTM equipment from Fill in producing carbon fiber-reinforced plastic components for its BMW i3 and i8 cars.

Engel indicated the key role that fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) is playing in development of automotive lightweight construction. "At the moment, the biggest challenge is developing economic processes for the mass production of innovative composite parts," it said.

Injection molding could be a means to achieving lower process costs, and Schwertberg-based Engel said its system and automation expertise will now be enhanced by Fill’s expertise in the area of preform manufacturing and processing.

Engel has been involved in collaborative work with partner companies, universities and other research institutes in the field of automotive lightweight construction for a number of years. In 2012 it set up its own technology centre for lightweight composites at its large-scale machine factory in St. Valentin, Austria.

As MRC wrote before, Engel Holding GmbH announced a partnership with PME fluidtec GmbH of Germany in the field of water injection technology (WIT). The companies will work together on client-specific systems and worldwide sales.

Engel is, as a single brand, the largest producer of injection moulding machinery worldwide and a leader in the field of injection moulding technology. Engel"s integrated systems solutions include injection moulding machinery, automation, process technology, tool design, training and service. Engel supplies 50% of all large-scale machines and 35% of the small to medium-sized machines with automation included, and the figures are still rising.

Lanxess presents membrane elements for seawater desalination

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Specialty chemicals company Lanxess has introduced its new spiral-wound membrane elements for seawater desalination, as per the company's press release.

Jean-Marc Vesselle, Head of Lanxess' Liquid Purification Technologies business unit: "Seawater makes up some 97% of all the water on earth. The desalination of seawater for use in farming and in drinking water production is therefore a very attractive alternative. We expect a rapidly growing market in the years to come. Energy-efficient, eco-friendly desalination technologies like reverse osmosis play a major role in this field. For this and many other areas of water treatment, Lewabrane membrane elements are ideal in combination with our Lewatit range of ion exchange resins."

The family of products currently encompasses three grades of reverse osmosis (RO), which were specially developed for sweater desalination. Lanxess is producing the reverse osmosis elements at its German plant in Bitterfeld, which was opened in 2011. Main areas of application include the production of boiler feed water, wastewater treatment, groundwater remediation and full demineralization for microchip fabrication.

Prior to official market introduction, the new membrane elements were tested for several months in desalination plants on the Red Sea in Egypt. The new Lanxess elements meet or exceed the relevant industrial standards in continuous production under real conditions.

As MRC wrote previously, last July, Lanxess celebrated the opening of its first production facility in Russia. In the new plant at the Lipetsk site, Lanxess subsidiary Rhein Chemie manufactures polymer-bound rubber additives for the markets in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), primarily for the automotive and tire industries. A production facility for the bladders used in tire production is to be added in 2016. The overall investment volume in euros amounts to a seven-digit figure.

Lanxess is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.3 billion in 2013 and roughly 17,300 employees in 31 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of Lanxess is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.