Arkema signs the new Responsible Care Charter of the International Council of Chemical Associations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In 2006, the first Responsible Care Charter was signed in France by the French Union des Industries Chimiques and its member companies, including Arkema. By signing this latest charter, Arkema renews its commitment to sustainable growth while continuously working towards improvements in safety and the protection of health and the environment in accordance with the guiding principles of the ICCA, reported Arkema on its site.

The Arkema Group gears its research efforts to sustainable development and the key challenges of our planet. It creates innovative solutions for new energies, lighter materials, access to water, the development of renewable raw materials, and recycling.

As a responsible chemicals manufacturer, Arkema ensures the safe management of its products while involving every player in the supply chain from raw material procurement to customer. Accordingly, the Group has now joined the Together for Sustainability platform to evaluate and optimize the sustainable development practices of the various players in the chemical industry supply chain. Furthermore, the Group performs life cycle analyses of its products to help minimize the environmental impact of its activities.

As MRC informed previously, in order to guarantee flawless bottles to bottle manufacturers, Arkema, a France-based chemical manufacturer, has developed major technological innovations in protective coatings, combined with an audit and training service, and a product certification that is unique in the profession.

Arkema with annual revenue of EUR6.1 billion is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc.

Mohawk buying IVC Group for USD1.2 billion to grow in luxury vinyl tile

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mohawk Industries Inc., which bills itself as the world’s largest flooring company, is acquiring IVC Group - a rapidly growing manufacturer of luxury vinyl tile (LVT) in Europe - in a USD1.2 billion deal that the two companies have talked about for years, said Plasicsnews.

Based in Calhoun, Ga., Mohawk has spent the last decade transforming itself from a U.S. carpet maker to a global flooring manufacturer with operations in 10 countries and net sales of USD7.3 billion in 2013 and USD5.9 billion through the third quarter of 2014.

IVC, which got its start in Belgium in 1997, has been growing, too. The company, which also makes sheet vinyl and laminate, has sales of about USD700 million. In Europe, IVC built the first high-speed LVT production line in the world to compete with imports and it is building a luxury vinyl plank and tile facility in Dalton, Ga. that will have a capacity of USD200 million.

Overseas on IVC’s home turf, Mohawk is constructing an LVT factory with about USD150 million of capacity in Belgium, which gives the two companies a lot of potential synergies in terms of sales, manufacturing, transportation and administration in Europe and the United States, Mohawk Chairman and CEO Jeff Lorberbaum said in a Jan. 14 conference call.

LVT, which replicates the look of natural hardwood planks, mosaic tile and stone, is about a USD1 billion market in the United States, and it is taking share from laminate, sheet and ceramic flooring for both residential and commercial customers.

The U.S. market, which makes up about 70% of Mohawk’s business, will continue to be the company’s primary focus, Loberbaum said.

Canadian ABC Group to launch Polish car parts plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Canadian auto parts supplier ABC Group Inc. has unveiled plans to set up a new production facility in Bydgoszcz, in northwestern Poland, reports Plasicsnews.

Construction of the 13,000-square-meter plant will start this spring, and it will eventually employ 150.
Toronto-based ABC has been refocusing its business since the recent sale of its fuel systems unit to State Development Investment Corp. of Beijing, a major investor in Yapp Automotive Parts Co. Ltd.

ABC Group makes injection and blow molded parts and components for automotive interiors, exteriors and under-the-hood applications.

ABC’s investment in Poland will be carried out by the group’s local subsidiary, ABC Automotive Poland, which was set up in late 2014.

ABC Group specializes in vertically integrated plastics processing. The company owns 27 production facilities worldwide, including plants located in Canada, the United States, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Japan, China and Mexico. In addition to the factory in Poland, future locations are to include plants in India and South Korea, according to the company.

The company also recently announced plans to expand in Queretaro, Mexico, and Gallatin, Tenn.

Clariant acquires Swedish de-icing specialist Aerochem AB

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has announced that its Business Unit Industrial & Consumer Specialties (BU ICS) has completed the acquisition of the de-icing specialist Aerochem AB, a privately-owned company based in Stockholm, Sweden, as per the company's press release.

Centrally located within the Nordic region Aerochem has a leading market position in supplying de-icing fluids to the aviation and railway industries in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The company reported average sales of CHF 20 Mio at accretive profitability for Clariant.

Financial details of the acquisition are not being disclosed.

Since 2008, Aerochem has been Clariant’s exclusive partner for selling aircraft de-icing fluids (ADF) to customers in the Nordic market, amongst them the airports of Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen. The company offers its customers a total service concept from manufacturing to on-time deliveries.

Clariant’s BU ICS has a leading position in the aviation industry in Europe and North America serving airports via airlines, ground handling companies and airport operators responsible for aircraft and runway de-icing operations. "The acquisition is in line with our growth and sustainability strategy", said Hariolf Kottmann, CEO of Clariant. "Aerochem offers access to the attractive de-icing markets in the Nordics and provides an excellent platform for our activities in recycling of aircraft de-icing fluids in Europe."

Michael Willome, Head of BU ICS, said: "This acquisition puts our aviation business in a position to move one step forward in the value chain in the Nordics and to enhance our position in this sector with direct market access to our local customers."

We remind that, as MRC reported earlier, last summer Clariant announced that their new Ziegler-Natta (ZN) polypropylene catalyst plant in Louisville, Kentucky, is on schedule to begin production in 2015.

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.

PPG Senior Vice President Navikas to retire

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PPG Industries announced that David B. Navikas, senior vice president, strategic planning and corporate development, will retire effective March 1, said the company in its press release.

"PPG has benefited greatly from David’s deep knowledge of our company’s strategic priorities and financial framework," said Charles E. Bunch, PPG chairman and chief executive officer. "He has been a key leader in driving the growth and transformation of our coatings business portfolio through his functional leadership and as a member of our executive and operating committees."

Navikas joined PPG as controller in 1995 and was elected vice president in 2000. In June 2011 he was appointed senior vice president, finance, and chief financial officer, and he has held his current senior leadership role since August 2013. Navikas came to PPG after a 22-year career with accounting firm Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he was a partner and professional practice director of the Pittsburgh office.

As MRC wrote before, U.S. chemicals maker PPG Industries Inc had formally finalized its acquisition of Mexican paints maker Consorcio Comex for USD2.3 billion. The Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries said it had received a favorable ruling from Mexico's competition watchdog to complete the purchase, which came after the Mexican company's deal to sell to U.S. rival Sherwin-Williams Co fell through.

PPG Industries, Inc. (PPG) is a global supplier of protective and decorative coatings. Performance Coatings, Industrial Coatings and Architectural Coatings- EMEA segments supply protective and decorative finishes for customers in a range of end use markets, including industrial equipment, appliances and packaging; factory-finished aluminum extrusions and steel and aluminum