BASF officially opening of new Master Builders Solutions Training Center in Germany

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The new Master Builders Solutions Training Center at BASF's site in Oldenburg, Germany, has been officially opened, reported the company on its site.

The new training center in Oldenburg has been created to train and inform customers and BASF's Master Builders Solutions experts on the professional application and handling of Performance Flooring and Waterproofing products and systems - thus fostering their professionalism, knowledge and experience.

"We will now have the opportunity to demonstrate the use and the benefits of our products to our customers at one central location in Europe. We will also be welcoming colleagues from outside the region and connecting with them even more," says Luc Van Eldere, Head of Business Segment Management Performance Flooring Europe. "This is a milestone for us and clearly demonstrates that we are investing in our business and our customer support and service at our site in Oldenburg", comments Roland Nowicki, Vice President Construction Chemicals Europe.

Under the brand MasterTop, BASF offers a broad portfolio of innovative flooring systems for a wide range of applications. The requirements faced by each individual floor are different - therefore products have been developed in such a way that they can be tailored individually to meet specific performance criteria, the technical and aesthetic requirements, as well as allowing fast, cost-effective application. The non-solvented MasterTop flooring systems feature low emissions, high strength and low maintenance expenses combined with high durability. Thanks to the wide variety of colours available and liquid application, these flooring systems also allow individual seamless floor designs with respect to shapes and colours.

The MasterSeal range from BASF includes high-performance impregnation and waterproofing products to protect structures against the undesired ingress of water, moisture and contaminations from their surroundings. The products include rapid-hardening waterproofing agents for manual or sprayed application that can be used for the refurbishment and protection of many different types of buildings. These market-leading innovative technologies are suitable for the waterproofing of all types of structures, including car parks, road surfaces, industrial plants, water treatment and wastewater plants.

As MRC wrote before, BASF is significantly expanding its production capacity for about 20 specialty amines at its Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF says it will invest a double-digit million euro amount in expanding current production facilities, which are planned to go on stream gradually by early 2017. The specialty amines are especially used for the manufacturing of coatings, lubricants, crop protection products and pharmaceuticals.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries. BASF had sales of over EUR74 billion in 2014 and over 113,000 employees as of the end of the year.

Wacker develops highly efficient silicone surfactant for pulp production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Munich-based chemicals group Wacker has developed a new silicone surfactant that greatly accelerates pulp dewatering, as per the company's press release.

Sold under the name PULPSIL 968 S, it serves as the active ingredient for dewatering formulations used in pulp washing. The silicone delivers unparalleled efficiency in pulp dewatering and slashes the washing time. PULPSIL 968 S rounds out the existing Wacker range of products for Pulp & Paper, and can generate substantial energy and cost savings for pulp producers.

The rate at which pulp slurry is dewatered can be measured in drainage tests. Wacker’s new silicone tensid PULPSIL 968 S accelerates dewatering to unprecedented levels and improves the washing process during pulp making significantly.

PULPSIL 968 S, a medium-viscosity water-dispersible product, is a surfactant fluid based on a polyether-modified silicone. Its molecular structure has been optimized to make it less hydrophilic without compromising its pronounced hydrophobic or water-repellent properties. The resultant gain in water repellency, compared with other silicone surfactants, is what makes PULPSIL 968 S such a particularly efficient dewatering agent.

PULPSIL 968 S is designed to serve as a raw material for service companies that develop ready-to-use auxiliaries for the pulp industry. With this new silicone surfactant, formulations can be tailored to the process of any given pulp mill. Like the dewatering agents PULPSIL 955 S and PULPSIL 960 S, PULPSIL 968 S is generally used in combination with a silicone defoamer.

As MRC informed before, Wacker Chemie said will increase its 2014 dividend to EUR1.50 (USD1.59) from EUR0.50 following a marked increase in sales and earnings, but full-year net profit is expected to fall below the 2014 figure due to lower special income and a tax rate of slightly more than 50%.

Wacker Chemie AG is a worldwide operating company in the chemical business, founded 1914. The company is controlled by the Wacker-family holding more than 50 percent of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The product range includes silicone rubbers, polymer products like ethylene vinyl acetate redispersible polymer powder, chemical materials, polysilicon and wafers for semiconductor industry.

Arkema brings new resins reactor online in Brazil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Coating Resins business of Arkema has expanded acrylic resin manufacturing capacity in Aracariguama, Brazil by 60%, according to the company's statement.

The new reactor will enable manufacturing of Arkema’s product chemistries previously unavailable in the region.

With the start-up of the new reactor, Arkema has improved virtually every aspect of the company’s latex production in Brazil, including manufacturing, logistics and shipping, storage, filtration and the capabilities of the reactor itself.

"These improvements will enable us to begin migrating production capabilities and product lines currently available in other parts of the world to the facility in Brazil," Eric Schmitt, President, Arkema Quimica Ltda. Brazil, explained. "We can now provide customers local manufacturing of innovative, market-leading products, produced in a modern, automated facility with a focus on consistent, repeatable quality, and environmental responsibility."

Products manufactured at the plant will now include a much wider range of chemistries, including 100% acrylic, styrene acrylic, vinyl acrylic, vinyl VeoVa and polyvinyl acetate (PVA). These products are used across many traditional and emerging applications in industries such as architectural coatings, industrial coatings, pressure sensitive adhesives and construction adhesives, textiles, sealants and waterproofing membranes.

As production ramps up, Arkema will begin to introduce new products based on demand and market potential. The first products added to the production capabilities of the new facility include:

- ENCOR 265 BR, a high scrubbing styrene acrylic resin for use in architectural coatings;
- ENCOR DT 211 BR, a 100% acrylic ideally suited for fast-dry traffic paints;
- ENCOR 161 BR styrene acrylic latex for use in mortars and grouts, tile adhesives and waterproofing membranes, as well as cement-based skim coats, gap fillers, and in decorative concrete applications;
- ENCOR 413 BR, an acrylic emulsion polymer specifically developed for use in the polymer modification of Portland cement and other hydraulic cement compositions;
- ENCOR 9801 BR acrylic pressure sensitive adhesive for packaging tape applications;
- ENCOR 9466 BR, a high solids acrylic pressure sensitive adhesive for label applications.

"Arkema has been investing consistently to expand our global presence in resins" said Carlos Lion, Market Manager for Arkema Coating Resins in South America. "Local production in Brazil will allow us to better serve our current customers while, at the same time, offering formulators in various market areas, such as coatings, construction and adhesives, more competitive access to the raw materials they need."

As MRC wrote previously, last year, Arkema 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. 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 is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc. With operations in nearly 50 countries, about 19,000 employees, and research centers in North America, France and Asia, Arkema generates pro forma annual revenue of EUR7.5 billion (USD9.5 billion), and holds leadership positions in all its markets with a portfolio of internationally recognized brands.

Henan Shenma not to shut PVC plant in 2015 for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Henan Shenma Chlorine Alkali is not in plans to undertake a maintenance turnaround at its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant in 2015, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the plant is likely to undergo a maintenance turnaround in 2016, though a specific schedule for the same has not been worked out.

Located at Henan in China, the plant has a production capacity of 450,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, last time Henan Shenma Chlorine Alkali shut down its PVC plant in Henan province of China for maintenance turnaround on May 6, 2014. It stayed off-stream for around two weeks.

Besides, we remind that Shandong Dongyue restarted its PVC plant in early March 2015, following maintenance turnaround. It was shut on February 6, 2015. Located in Shandong province, China, the plant has a production capacity of 120,000 mt/year.

Sika Q1 net sales down 0.9%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Swiss specialty chemicals company Sika AG reported that its net sales for the first quarter of 2015 declined 0.9% to 1.195 billion Swiss francs from 1.206 billion francs in the same quarter last year, as per Reuters.

However, at constant exchange rates, sales for the quarter rose by 5.1% to 1.195 billion francs. Gains in all regions contributed to this impressive performance, with North and Latin America even posting double-digit growth.

It is planned to open between seven and nine factories in 2015.

Sika expects sales growth of 6% to 8% at constant exchange rates, in line with Strategy 2018. The strong Swiss franc remains a considerable challenge for the margins. However, with raw materials prices falling and in view of the success of Sika's growth model, the company aims to achieve a slight improvement in margins compared with the previous year. Nevertheless, the unknown outcome of Saint-Gobain's hostile takeover bid remains a major element of uncertainty in this forecast.

As MRC informed earlier, Saint-Gobain's attempted takeover of Switzerland's Sika took another twist as two investors said they will appeal a ruling stipulating that the French building materials company is not required to make an offer for all of Sika's shares.

Sika is a specialty chemicals company with a leading position in the development and production of systems and products for bonding, sealing, damping, reinforcing and protecting in the building sector and the motor vehicle industry. Sika has subsidiaries in 90 countries around the world and manufactures in over 160 factories. Its more than 16,000 employees generated annual sales of CHF 5.6 billion in 2014.