Arkema develops new range of Elium thermoplastic resin

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema, a global chemical company and France’s leading chemicals producer, has developed its new range of Elium, the first thermoplastic resins that can be processed on the same equipment as thermoset resins, as per the company's press release.

The main advantages of Elium resins are the recyclability of composite parts, the use of well known processes (RTM, Infusion) to mold structural and semi-structural parts and the cost-effectiveness of the technology to make continuous-fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites.

In addition to the Elium range and Luperox organic peroxides - used as initiator for Elium resins - Arkema is developing a large range of high performance materials, additives and adhesives, for applications involving composites with a thermoset or a thermoplastic matrix:

- a polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) called Kepstan to replace metal in extreme conditions (aerospace, offshore);
- the Rilsan range, a high-performance polyamide that is 100% bio-sourced and which gives thermoplastic composites resistance to abrasion and impacts, even at low temperatures;
- additives like Nanostrength, Orgasol polyamides significantly improve the natural resistance properties of composites.

Lastly, AEC Polymers, an Arkema subsidiary specialized in structural adhesives, markets BlackMamba waterproof sealant adhesives and SAF structural adhesives, for complex composite assemblies.

As MRC reported before, in early 2014, Arkema, the world’s second leading producer of organic peroxides, announced the construction of a new organic peroxide plant on its Changshu site in China. This investment will help double the site’s production capacity.

A global chemical company and France’s leading chemicals producer, 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. Arkema operates 11 organic peroxide plants on the three continents.

Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd plant shutdown to continue for some more time

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The shutdown at Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd plant, on for more than 75 days, would continue for some more time, a source told PTI, said Plastemart.

The plant was running at less than 50% of its capacity before the shutdown period. "When the plant reopens now, it will start at full capacity," he said.

When pointed out that the downstream plastics units in the state and around were facing difficulties in sourcing polymers due to the prolonged shutdown, he said: "We are aware of their problems. But it is not possible to start the plant as there is a huge funds shortage."

However, as the issue of ownership of HPL comes to some conclusion with the West Bengal government deciding to transfer its shares to TCG, the financial issues could be expected to iron out.

As MRC wrote before, IndianOil Corporation (IOC) is likely to call off its planned acquisition of the West Bengal government’s 40% in Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL) if The Chatterjee Group (TCG) chief Purnendu Chatterjee is appointed HPL chairman.

Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd is a modern naphtha based petrochemical complex at Haldia, West Bengal, India. Haldia has played the role of a catalyst in emergence of more than 500 downstream processing industries in West Bengal with a capacity to process more than 3,50,000 TPA of polymers, among which are polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).


September prices of European PP dropped by EUR30-50/tonne for CIS countries

MOSCOW (MRC) -- European polypropylene (PP) producers were forced to significantly reduce prices for September shipments to the CIS markets. Prices of European PP dropped by EUR30-50/tonne from August, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The September contract price of propylene in Europe was agreed by EUR50/tonne below the August level. However, despite this factor, European producers tried to limit price cuts in the first half of the month. But some market participants succeeded in reducing prices by EUR30-50/tonne.

Negotiations over September shipments of European propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) were done in the range of EUR1,200-1,260/tonne FCA in the first half of September. Offer prices of block copolymers (PP-impact) started from EUR1,260/tonne FCA. However, many market participants were slow to contract PP in Europe.

A further fall in oil prices in the second half of September forced some European producers to make further price concessions. Some market participants said they managed to receive prices of homopolymer PP at EUR1,170-1,210/tonne FCA, but purchasing quantities were scarce.

The propylene contract price for October was agreed at the September's level, due to which a roll-over of September PP prices for the CIS countries is expected next month. At the same time, the current weakening of the euro against the dollar strengthens the position of European PP compared with other suppliers to the CIS markets.

BASF fire protection panels certified under European construction product fire classification

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The fire performance of Palusol fire protection panels has recently been given the top A1 rating for construction products under European DIN EN 13501-1, which means that Palusol is now classified as a "non-combustible" construction material across Europe, reported the company on its site.

The certificate was issued by the accredited Testing, Monitoring and Certification Body of the Technical University of Munich.

The key element in the assessment is the SBI (Single Burning Item) test stipulated by the EU Construction Products Directive in which the material is exposed to the thermal attack by a single burning item. The specimen is placed in a corner under a smoke hood and its reaction to flames, e.g. heat and smoke generation, is recorded and used to rate the product in fire protection classes A1 (non-combustible) to F (highly flammable).

The Palusol fire protection panels, which are non-homogeneous in structure, are composed of sodium silicate and glass fibers coated with epoxy resin to protect against external environmental effects. They provide passive fire protection, for example in fire protection doors, fire-resistant glazing, safety cabinets and firewalls. The A1 classification gives Palusol access to any safety applications in construction and transport, and makes it easier for BASF’s customers to use Palusol in structural components sold outside of Germany.

"For construction materials in applications marketed across Europe, the requirement to provide European certification based on one harmonized process rather than several national fire protection classifications is becoming increasingly common", explains Andreas Bolz, Business Manager at BASF. "Palusol’s top rating in construction material class A1 now makes it easier for many customers to plan and develop new applications, which in some cases are complex structural component systems. They can also make savings in terms of costly and expensive tests on finished parts."

Palusol fire protection panels have been providing passive fire protection complying with building regulations for over 30 years.

As MRC informed previously, in September 2014, BASF, the world's petrochemical major, announced the start-up of a new butadiene extraction plant at its Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium. The plant has an annual production capacity of 155,000 metric tons. The plant in Antwerp is BASF’s second butadiene extraction plant in Europe. BASF already operates a butadiene extraction plant at its Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, with an annual production capacity of 105,000 metric tons. With the plant in Antwerp, BASF is more than doubling its production capacity for butadiene in Europe.

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. BASF had sales of about EUR74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year.

Clariant places CHF 150 million domestic bond

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has announced the issuance of a CHF 150 million domestic bond, according to the company's statement.

The bond issued has a coupon of 2.125% p.a. and a tenor of 10 years.

The proceeds are for general corporate purposes and will be used to extend the debt maturity profile, while maintaining a very solid liquidity structure. The issue was very well received by Swiss investors, underlining their confidence in the credit quality of Clariant.

Settlement is expected to happen on 17 October 2014.

Clariant Ltd’s current long-term ratings are "BBB-", outlook "stable" at Standard & Poor’s, and "Ba1", "outlook stable" by Moody’s.

As MRC reported earlier, in late July 2014, CB&I and Clariant announced that their new Ziegler-Natta (ZN) polypropylene catalyst plant in Louisville, Kentucky, is on schedule to begin production in 2015. The plant is part of a long-term strategic partnership between Clariant’s catalysts business and CB&I’s Lummus Novolen Technology business. Based at Clariant’s largest US production hub, the new facility will combine innovative catalysts jointly developed by both companies with high-capacity output.

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.