Albemarle to increase production capacity for curative products

MOSCOW (MRC) - Albemarle Corporation has announced that it plans to increase production capabilities of its curatives products at its facility in Pasadena, TX, USA, reported GV.

The capacity investment will support the company's Ethacure 100 liquid curative product for application in polyureas, urethanes and epoxies.

Albemarle's Ethacure 100 curatives are curing agents and chain extenders for polyurethane and polyurea elastomers, as well as epoxy resins, particularly in reaction injection moulding and spray applications. According to the manufacturer, these diamine curatives allow for adjustable reaction time and substantially reduce dust exposure while providing processing advantages and improved final product properties.

"We are excited to announce our plans for increased production at a robust production site," said Chris Knight, Albemarle's vice president, Specialty Chemicals. "This expansion will allow Albemarle to meet the needs of our customers by continuing to provide high quality products and customer service and will strengthen our position as a leading supplier in the curatives industry."

Production in the expanded facility is expected in 2015.

As MRC informed before, Albemarle and ICL have recently entered into an agreement to establish a manufacturing joint venture for the production of ICL's FR-122P polymeric flame retardant and Albemarle's GreenCrest polymeric flame retardant.

These flame retardants are designed to replace hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). HBCD has been the leading flame retardant used in expanded (EPS) and extruded (XPS) polystyrene foam applications, but is being phased out in the European Union (EU), Japan and other countries. The joint venture and its partners will own and operate a 2,400-tpy Netherlands plant, which is currently operating, and a 10,000-tpy Israel plant, which is scheduled to start operations in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Albemarle Corporation, headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a leading global developer, manufacturer, and marketer of highly-engineered specialty chemicals for consumer electronics, petroleum refining, utilities, packaging, construction, automotive/transportation, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, food-safety and custom chemistry services.

Mexichem сompletes acquisition of Vestolit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexichem, Mexican PVC and specialty chemicals maker, has announced that it completed the acquisition of Vestolit GmbH on 1 December 2014, reported Heraldonline.

Mexichem completed the acquisition after receiving all relevant regulatory approvals. Vestolit was acquired from funds managed by Strategic Value Partners LLC for a total purchase price of EUR219 million in cash and assumed liabilities.

As of 1 December, 2014, Vestolit will be consolidated under Mexichem’s chlorine-vinyl chain for accounting purposes.

Based in Marl, Germany, Vestolit is Europe’s only manufacturer of High Impact Suspension PVC (HIS-PVC) for weather-resistant windows and is Europe's second-largest producer of paste PVC for floors and wallpapers. Vestolit also produces alkyl-chlorides, a value-added intermediary used for a variety of chemical and industrial applications and is vertically integrated in a single site from Salt through Specialty PVC. Total installed PVC capacity is 415,000 tons per year.

Mexichem views this transaction as an opportunity to expand its European footprint, enter a new market segment and acquire new technology and best practices.

Vestolit will continue to operate under its current management and with its existing portfolio of branded products.

As MRC wrote previously, in August 2014, Mexichem announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Dura-Line Corp. from CHS Capital for a total of USD630 million in cash and assumed liabilities, advancing Mexichem’s strategy of global growth in high-end specialty products. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, Dura-Line is a global leader in high-density polyethylene (HDPE) conduit, duct and pressure-pipe solutions for telecom and data communications, energy and infrastructure industries. Dura-Line has manufacturing facilities in North America, India, Oman, Europe, and South Africa.

Mexichem, of Tlalnepantla, an industrial municipality close to Mexico City, is Latin America’s largest manufacturer of PVC pipe, vinyl resins and compounds. The company has annual revenues of more than USD5 billion and has been listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange for more than 30 years.

Chinese tire firms urge government to fight US action

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The tire industry has urged the government to take decisive measures against the anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed on tires imported from China after the United States Department of Commerce claimed on 24 Nov. 2014 that Chinese manufacturers benefited from government subsidies, according to GV.

The US government said tires for passenger cars and light trucks produced in China were unfairly subsidized and should be subject to punitive tariffs ranging from 17.7% to 81.3%, depending on the manufacturer.

Fan Rende, honorary chairman of the Beijing-based China Rubber Industry Association, said US tire makers are aware that high labor and material costs are the biggest obstacles to generate profit. The move shows that the US is adopting a tough stance on China’s tire industry.

The association is discussing solutions and appealing to the government to take measures to protect the interest of Chinese tire makers in the US market.

As MRC reported earlier, on 8 September 2014, China ended its anti-dumping duties on styrene-butadiene-rubber (SBR) imports from Russia, Japan, and South Korea, effective Monday. In 2009, China extended its 4-38% anti-dumping duties on SBR imported from the countries by five years. The tax expired in September, and the ministry has been reviewing whether to extend it. The ministry said the domestic industry urged it not to continue imposing the anti-dumping duty and, therefore, it decided not to continue it.

Ufaorgsintez adjusted contract PE and PP prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ufaorgsintez, owned by United Petrochemical Company, has announced an adjustment in the contract prices of polypropylene (PP) and low density polyethylene (LDPE) for shipments from 1 December, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The company's customers said prices of 108 grade and 158 grade LDPE fell by Rb1,700/tonne, whereas prices of shrinkable film PE dropped by Rb1,300/tonne from the level as of 17 November 2014.

At the same time, prices of all PP grades, including homopolymer of propylene (homopolymer PP) and block copolymers of propylene (PP-impact), grew by Rb1,000/tonne.

Ufaorgsintez OAO was founded in 1956 and is based in Ufa, Russia. In 1984 the company was incorporated. Ufaorgsintez manufactures organic synthesis products in Russia and Europe. Its products include ethylene, propylene, ethanol, cumol, ethyl benzol, phenol, acetone, copolymer rubber, polyolefines (polyethylene and polypropylene), polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene items, thinners, and dilutants. As of January 22, 2010, Ufaorgsintez operates as a subsidiary of Bashneft Joint Stock Oil Company. "United Petrochemical Company" (UPC) owns 87.76% of Ufaorgsintez's registered capital. Bashneft sold Ufaorgsintez's stake to UPC in May 2013.

According MRC ScanPlast, Ufaorgsintez's overall output of PE and PP totalled 67,800 tonnes and 100,700 tonnes, respectively, over the first ten months of 2014.

Arkema increases prices of a range of organic peroxides

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema, a France-based chemical manufacturer and the world’s second leading producer of organic peroxides, will implement from 1 December 2014, or as contracts allow, a price increase on its Luperox organic peroxides used in the unsaturated polyester resins segment and commercialized in Europe, Middle East and Africa, as per the company's press release.

This is necessary to offset the raw material cost increases.

The price increase will vary from 5 to 10%, depending on the grade, and will concern exclusively the range of the methyl-ethyl-keton peroxides and their blends.

The methyl-ethyl-keton peroxides are used as curing agents in unsaturated polyester resins - or thermoset resins - very commonly used in the composite industry, mainly in the sectors of transport, sailing boats and in wind turbine blades.

As MRC reported previously, in early 2014, Arkema announced the construction of a new organic peroxide plant on its Changshu site in China. This investment helped to double the site’s production capacity. By doubling its production capacity in China, Arkema will continue to support the strong growth in the organic peroxide market in Asia, a region in which the Group is also a producer in India, South Korea and Japan. The new Changshu plant is due to come on stream in early 2016.

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.