Styron publishes 2013 sustainability and corporate social responsibility report

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Styron, the global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, has published its 2013 Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, reported the company on its site.

This marks the company’s fourth report since its formation in 2010.

In 2013 the company continued its trend of reducing its environmental footprint, as measured by a range of environmental performance indicators. Compared with the 2012 performance, the company achieved reductions in 2013 in the following areas: electricity use - down 2%; total chemical emissions - down 2%; volatile organic chemical (VOC) emissions - down 5%; water consumption - down 4%.

The report profiles how the company’s products help its customers improve their own sustainability in areas such as LED lighting, green tires, smart meters, life-saving medical devices, and lighter weight cars that get better mileage. The report also outlines Styron’s programs in product stewardship, quality, safety, ethics and compliance, volunteerism, and Responsible Care.

"At Styron, our sustainability commitment is an integral part of our business strategy," said Chris Pappas, President and CEO of Styron. "We continue our work to reduce Styron’s environmental footprint, while developing new innovative solutions that benefit our customers and the world."

As MRC informed earlier, Styron (Hong Kong) Limited, an affiliate of Styron, the global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, and its affiliate companies in Asia Pacific have increased prices for all polystyrene (PS) grades in July, as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) - by USD20tonne;
- STYRON and STYRON A-TECH high-impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by USD20/tonne.

"The price increase responds to the rising costs associated with the manufacturing of polystyrene grades in Asia Pacific," said Samer Al Jabi, Global Product Manager for Polystyrene.

Styron is a leading global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, dedicated to collaborating with customers to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions. Styron’s technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Styron had approximately USD5.3 billion in revenue in 2013, with 19 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,100 employees.

Whirlpool to buy 60% of Italy's Indesit for USD1 billion

MOSCOW (MRC) - Whirlpool, the world's largest maker of home appliances, has agreed to pay EUR758 million (GBR602.67 million) to buy a 60% stake in smaller Italian rival Indesit to further expand beyond its U.S. home market, said Reuters.

The acquisition of Indesit, which is a market leader in Italy, the United Kingdom and Russia, follows Whirlpool's purchase of a majority stake in China's Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric Co Ltd last year for USD552 million (GBR322.57 million).

Family-controlled Indesit, which produces washing machines, freezers and ovens, has been searching for eight-months for a buyer that would help it reduce its dependence on Italy and compete against cheaper products from eastern Europe and China.

The U.S. company has agreed to pay EUR11 a share in cash to the members of the Merloni family who control Indesit and will launch a bid for the rest of the company which is likely to be delisted after the buyout, according to sources.

Analysts said Europe, where growth in several countries is still very weak, is unlikely to boost Whirlpool's sales near-term, but the purchase could offer cost synergies and help margins, which are lower than Indesit's in the region.

Whirlpool says it is currently the fourth-biggest player in Europe, Middle East and Africa, where it made 16% of its USD19 billion global sales last year. "This will ideally position us for sustainable growth in the highly competitive and increasingly global home appliance market in Europe," Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool's CEO said in a statement.

The Merloni family began producing scales and other home appliances in the 1930s and in 1987, under the leadership of Vittorio Merloni, acquired the then bankrupt Indesit brand. Under their ownership, Indesit expanded abroad, most notably into Russia. But it was never able to make a mark beyond Europe. There have disagreements in the family over strategy for the company. The company posted a net loss in the first quarter, although it remains profitable at operating level.

Indesit has eight industrial sites in Italy, Poland the United Kingdom, Russia and Turkey and employs 16,000 workers. The Group’s main brands are Indesit, Hotpoint and Scholtes.

The combined 60.4% stake that Whirlpool is taking over from the Merloni family represents a 66.8 percent voting stake in the firm due to treasury shares held by Indesit.

Whirlpool said it plans to finance the deal, which it expects to close by year end, through existing cash and debt.

PolyOne announces asset realignment in Brazil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PolyOne Corporation, a premier global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions, has announced a realignment of its manufacturing assets in Brazil, as per the company's press release.

As part of the realignment, PolyOne will close manufacturing plants located in Diadema and Joinville, Brazil. The company will continue to operate and invest in its facilities in Novo Hamburgo and Itupeva, Brazil, while offering specialty solutions throughout the region.

"This asset realignment will accelerate our specialty strategy in Brazil, streamline our operations, and improve our financial performance in the region," said Robert M. Patterson, president and chief executive officer, PolyOne Corporation. "Further, these actions will increase our focus on specialty solutions for customers, consistent with current and future market trends in this important and strategic market."

The company expects to incur cash costs of approximately USD5 million associated with these actions and non-cash charges of USD12 million primarily associated with accelerated depreciation and asset impairments. PolyOne will provide additional detail and discussion on the strategic realignment during its Q2 2014 earnings call on July 22, 2014.

As MRC wrote before, in June, PolyOne Corporation has presented its specialty portfolio for automotive interiors to designers and engineers at the 2014 WardsAuto Interiors conference. These advanced technologies, including soft-touch materials as well as colorants and special effects, enable customers to design new features that boost consumer appeal and reduce manufacturing complexity.

We also remind that in February 2014, PolyOne Corporation 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 global 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.

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat shut down HDPE production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bashkir company Gazprom Neftekhim Salavat (GNS, part of Gazprom), one of Russia's major petrochemical complexes, has shut down its production of high density polyethylene (HDPE) for a scheduled maintenance, reported MRC analysts.

Thus, GNS shut down its HDPE production for a 30-day turnaround on 15 July 2014. The overall plant's HDPE production capacity is 120,000 tonnes per year.

Earlier, on 1 July, Gazprom neftekhim Salavat stopped its low density polyethylene (LDPE) production with the annual capacity of 45,000 tonnes.

JSC "Gazprom neftekhim Salavat" is one of Russia's major petrochemical complexes. The company was integrated into JSC "Gazprom" system. The concentration of the full cycle of hydrocarbon processing, petrochemistry and mineral fertilizer production on the one site is the main advantage of GNS. The company comprises oil refinery, chemical Plant, gas&chemical plant and monomer plant.

Celanese to add Celstran production capability to Suzano, Brazil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation (CE), a global technology and specialty materials company, announced that it will expand its manufacturing capabilities at the company’s Suzano, Brazil, facility to include Celstran long fiber reinforced thermoplastics (LFRT) production, said the company in its press release.

The Celstran expansion is expected to be operational by mid-2015. This new Celstran LFRT production operation will be part of the company’s manufacturing site in Suzano where Celanese already compounds Hostaform / Celcon acetal copolymer (POM) and Celanex / Vandar thermoplastic polyester (PBT) products for customers in Brazil and Latin America.

Celanese long fiber reinforced thermoplastics, including Celstran, Factor and Compel, offer a combination of stiffness and toughness unparalleled by conventional short-fiber reinforced thermoplastics.

"Having local production of Celstran in Brazil will allow Celanese to better serve our customers by responding faster to incremental volumes and peak demands in this dynamic region," said Guert Rucker, commercial director, South America, for Celanese. "Production in Brazil will also help address our customers’ needs for value chain localization of raw materials, enabling those customers working with Celanese to receive even further tax benefits in the automotive segment via the government program Inovarauto and regional trade agreements."

The broad product line of Celstran LFRT grades are produced using a patented pultrusion process that provides the highest quality impregnation and optimal wetting of the reinforcement fibers. By using various matrix materials, including polyamide (PA), polypropylene (PP), polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), PBT, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyacrylic acid (PAA), POM, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and others; and imbedding various glass-, carbon-, stainless steel- and aramid-fibers together with additives, Celanese LFRT grades can be tailored to meet many specific application requirements.

As MRC wrote before, Celanese Corporation announced a range of detectable polymer technologies that can help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers ensure products contain components and parts that meet their material specifications.

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. With sales almost equally divided between North America, Europe and Asia, the company uses the full breadth of its global chemistry, technology and business expertise to create value for customers and the corporation. Celanese partners with customers to solve their most critical needs while making a positive impact on its communities and the world. Based in Dallas, Texas, Celanese employs approximately 7,400 employees worldwide and had 2013 net sales of USD6.5 billion.