Evonik and Chinese partner GCL planning to build plants for silicon compounds in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The German speciality chemicals group Evonik Industries and Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon Technology Development Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited (GCL-Poly), have signed a letter of intent to establish a joint venture for the production of fumed silica and ultra-pure silicon tetrachloride in China, as per Evonik's press release.

Evonik will hold a 60% share in the joint venture.

The plants, which will have an annual capacity of over 20,000 metric tons, will be built in Xuzhou (Jiangsu Province, China) and are scheduled to start-up operation in 2016. The entire project has yet to be approved by the executive bodies.

As a listed company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, GCL-Poly specializes in the generation of green and conventional energy. Jiangsu Zhongneng, a wholly owned subsidiary of GCL-Poly, is a global leading manufacturer of polycrystalline silicon (PCS). Silicon tetrachloride is a byproduct of PCS production, and the joint venture will purchase this to produce AEROSIL fumed silica and Siridion STC HP ultra-pure silicon tetrachloride.

"By making the planned investment we are aiming to further strengthen our market position for fumed silica and ultra-pure silicon tetrachloride and to promote growth, particularly in the attractive Chinese market," said Klaus Engel, CEO of Evonik Industries. "In GCL we have found a strong partner for this."

The main drivers of the positive market development for AEROSIL fumed silica in China are the silicone industry for adhesives and sealants in buildings and vehicles as well as gel batteries, used in e-bikes, for example. Ultra-pure silicon tetrachloride, marketed under the Siridion STC HP brand name, is used in the fiber optics needed to expand China’s communications and IT infrastructure. The growth rate for ultra-pure silicon tetrachloride in China is well above the growth rate for the global market. Half of the demand for fiber optics worldwide now comes from China.

Evonik is one of the leading manufacturers of silica and ultra-pure silicon tetrachloride. Apart from AEROSIL fumed silica, the specialty chemicals company produces precipitated silica for tires with low rolling resistance, for instance. Overall, Evonik has a global capacity of over 500,000 metric tons per annum for precipitated and fumed silica as well as matting agents. In addition to ultra-pure silicon tetrachloride, Evonik markets a portfolio of ultra-pure chlorosilanes for the electronics industry under the Siridion brand.

As MRC reported earlier, in March 2014, Evonik opened its expanded production for precipitated silica in Rayong, Thailand. With this investment, Evonik increased its capacity for precipitated silica for the automotive industry, food and animal feed industry as well as the paints and coatings industry.

Evonik, the industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2013 more than 33,500 employees generated sales of around EUR12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about EUR2.0 billion.

Court sentences U.S. businessman to 15 years in DuPont espionage case

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Walter Liew was convicted in March of selling DuPont’s trade secrets to a state-owned Chinese company, said Fortune.

A San Francisco federal court has sentenced U.S. businessman Walter Liew to 15 years in prison for stealing trade secrets from chemical giant DuPont and then selling them to a state-owned Chinese company.

Liew’s sentence, which was first reported Thursday by Reuters, comes four months after he was convicted of more than 20 criminal counts, including conspiracy to commit economic espionage and trade secret theft, by a federal jury. Liew was found guilty of paying former DuPont DD -0.08% employees – including engineer Robert Maegerle, who was also convicted earlier this year – to provide the company’s trade secrets, which Liew then used to help the Chinese company Pangang Group develop the white pigment chloride-route titanium dioxide. The pigment can be used in a range of products, from paper to paint to plastic.

Liew’s sentence also includes a USD28 million fine to cover the amount Liew and his company, USA Performance Technology, received from Pangang.

At the time of Liew’s conviction, in March, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said that combatting economic espionage is a top government priority, adding that "foreign governments threaten our economic and national security by engaging in aggressive and determined efforts to steal U.S. intellectual property."

As MRC wrote before, Bayer MaterialScience has acquired DuPont's aniline production facility in Baytown, Texas. With the acquisition, Bayer assumes responsibility for the facility's direct operating personnel. Financial terms were not disclosed. Aniline is a primary feedstock used to manufacture methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), a versatile chemical used to produce rigid polyurethane foams for insulation in the construction industry, as well as coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers and binders.

DuPont, is an American chemical company that was founded in July 1802. DuPont developed many polymers such as Vespel, neoprene, nylon, Corian, Teflon, Mylar, Kevlar, Zemdrain, M5 fiber, Nomex, Tyvek, Sorona and Lycra. DuPont developed Freon (chlorofluorocarbons) for the refrigerant industry, and later more environmentally friendly refrigerants. It developed synthetic pigments and paints including ChromaFlair.MRC

Hanwha establishes task force to pursue Dow Chemical bid

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hanwha Chemical has created a task force to manage the process of bidding for Dow Chemical's chlorine business, reported Apic-online with reference to the Korea Herald.

Hanwha retained Credit Suisse earlier this year to advise on the possible purchase, which involves about 40 production facilities at 11 sites, including Dow's chlor-alkali and chlor-vinyl units in Plaquemine, La., and Freeport, Texas, as well as Dow’s interest in the Dow Mitsui chlor-alkali joint venture in Freeport.

In addition to Credit Suisse, the task force consists of over 20 Hanwha employees and law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

As MRC informed previously, Dow Chemical, the largest US chemical maker by sales, said in December 2013 it would separate its chlorine-related assets including its epoxy business as the company focuses on higher-margin activities. The chlorine assets account for as much as USD5 billion of annual revenue and include plants at 11 sites employing almost 2,000 people.

Dow also said it had hired financial advisers to look at options for the assets including sales, joint ventures and spinoffs. It expects to complete transactions for the assets in the next year or two.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. As of 2007, it is the second-largest chemical manufacturer in the world by revenue (after BASF) and as of February 2009, the third-largest chemical company in the world by market capitalization (after BASF and DuPont). Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.

PolyOne Corporation announces quarterly dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Board of Directors of PolyOne Corporation has declared a quarterly cash dividend of USD0.08 per share on the common stock outstanding, to be paid on October 3, 2014, to stockholders of record on September 12, 2014, reported the company on its site.

As MRC wrote before, earlier, the Board of Directors of PolyOne Corporation declared a quarterly cash dividend of USD0.08 per share on the common stock outstanding to be paid on July 2, 2014, to stockholders of record on June 13, 2014.

We remind that PolyOne Corporation has recently announced the addition of new capabilities to its OnColor HC Plus portfolio. These expanded offerings add medical-grade LDPE, nylon, PEBA, PS and PVC to the globally available palette of specialty healthcare colorants, and are pre-certified to meet or exceed biocompatibility requirements for ISO 10993 and/or USP Class VI protocols.

PolyOne Corporation, with 2013 revenues of USD3.8 billion, is a premier provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions. PolyOne is a provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions with operations in specialty polymer formulations, color and additive systems, polymer distribution and specialty vinyl resins.

PS exports from Russia increased twofold in first six months of 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Exports of general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS) from Russia increased more than twofold in the first half of the year, compared with the same time a year earlier, as per MRC DataScope.

Total exports of HIPS and GPPS from Russia were 45,100 tonnes in January-June 2014, compared with 20,000 tonnes year on year. The increase in export shipments resulted from the increased production capacities of Russian companies and the growth of production volumes.
Total HIPS exports from Russia were 26,400 tonnes over the reported period, which was two times higher than in January-June 2013. The main consumer of Russian HIPS was Turkey, with 6,800 tonnes exported. Whereas in 2013 the main HIPS exports occurred for Ukraine. Exports of Russian HIPS in Ukraine in January-June 2014 were 4,500 tonnes, down 16% year on year. A new direction for the Russian high-impact polystyrene was Egypt, with more than 6,000 tonnes exported.

At the same time Ukraine remained the biggest importer of Russian GPPS. Total exports of Russian GPPS in Ukraine were 5,600 tonnes in January-June 2014, up 27% year on year.