AkzoNobel to build EUR30 million Performance Coatings facility in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AkzoNobel has announced plans to invest more than EUR30 million in a manufacturing facility in Thailand to support regional growth of its Performance Coatings business, said Nasdaq.

The project, which is being supported by the Thailand Board of Investment, involves constructing a 120,000m2 site within the Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate in Chonburi. Earmarked for an initial capacity of 45,000 tons per year, production is due to start in the third quarter of 2016.

The new plant will support several Performance Coatings businesses, including Metal Coatings, Protective Coatings, Specialty Coatings and Marine Coatings, as well certain products from the company's Decorative Paints business.

"By investing in this new facility we are supporting our continued growth within Thailand, as well as making progress with our regional business expansion strategy," explained AB Ghosh, Managing Director of AkzoNobel's Metal Coatings business. "A number of existing operations will be consolidated into the new site, allowing us to achieve world class operational standards."

Added Conrad Keijzer, the company's Executive Committee member responsible for Performance Coatings: "Thailand is a key market for our growth strategy and this investment will enable us to further strengthen our position as a leading supplier, both within Thailand and as a hub to support the supply network through the region."

"Our business in Asia has experienced strong growth during the last several years," he went on. "As demand and volumes continue to rise, the new site will enable us to better serve our customers whenever and wherever they need our products."

As MRC informed earlier, in early May AkzoNobel has concluded the sale of its global paper chemicals business to Finland-based Kemira for EUR153m.

Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational, active in the fields of decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 55,000 people.

Valspar buying two businesses from Quest Specialty Chemicals

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Valspar has agreed to buy Quest Specialty Chemicals' automotive refinishing business and an industrial coatings business, said the company.

These two business segments finished 2014 with sales of USD190 million, according to a Valspar news release. Terms of the sale, which is expected to close during the third quarter of 2015, were not disclosed.

"The acquisition strengthens Valspar's value proposition in automotive refinish," Valspar CEO Gary Hendrickson said in the release. "Our customers will benefit from expanded distribution of a portfolio of preferred brands they know and trust, a broader range of high-performance products and a stronger service network."

Quest Automotive Products formulates, manufactures and distributes technology paints, coatings systems and accessories to professional refinishers in North America and Europe.

As MRC informed earlier, Valspar completed development of a USD45m manufacturing centre in Tianjin, China, for a range of paints and coatings products in April 2015.

The Valspar Corporation is an American international manufacturer of paint and coatings based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. With nearly 10,000 employees in 25 countries and a company history that spans over two centuries long, it is the sixth largest paint and coating corporation in the world. Valspar was founded in 1806 as a paint dealership in Boston, Massachusetts. The Valspar name emerged in 1903 as a new clear varnish, and became the company name in 1932.

Rising demand for polycarbonate to boost Bisphenol A market through 2019

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Rising demand for polycarbonate (PC) plastics is expected to boost the growth of the global bisphenol A (BPA) market, which is expected to post a CAGR of 5% from 2015-2019, as per Plastemart with reference to Technavio's report.

BPA is a carbon-based synthetic compound used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics have high tensile strength and high thermal stability properties, which makes them useful in the packaging industry, as they can be cleaned easily.

"The light weight property of polycarbonate plastics makes them efficient for the production of light vehicles," says Faisal Ghaus, Vice President of Technavio. "Polycarbonate plastics are used in various industries, including electronics, construction and automotive, and demand for this plastic is increasing gradually."

Furthermore, the report also emphasizes BPA products that are increasingly being used for various industrial applications. "BPA is used to make epoxy resins, which can then be made into highly efficient, lightweight wind turbine blades," says Ghaus.

As MRC informed previously, KHPC, a sole producer of polycarbonate (PC) in Iran, has started exporting different grades of PC to Russian market since April 2015. KHPC finished its fundamental maintenance in early April and was operating with 70% capacity utilisation and planning to increase production in a short time. It is planned to produce new PC grades, such as bottle and optical grades, this year and produce at least 25,000 MT varieties of PC grades.

Taiyo Oil starts producing petrochemicals with UOPsTatoray process

MOSCOW (MRC) -- UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, has announced that Japan's Taiyo Oil Co. Ltd. has begun producing petrochemicals with UOP's Tatoray process technology, which provides greater flexibility to produce either gasoline or valuable petrochemicals as demand changes, reported Plastemart.

Taiyo Oil licensed the process technology from UOP in 2013 for its Shikoku Operations in Japan. The new unit started production late last year and met all of its performance guarantees two weeks after start-up.

The Tatoray process substantially increases production of benzene and xylenes, which are used to produce polymers and plastics.

"With domestic gasoline demand declining, Japan has become the world leader in reallocating feedstocks, such as naphtha, from making motor fuels to producing in-demand petrochemicals, making Japan one of the largest exporters of components used to make paraxylene," said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of UOP's Process Technology and Equipment business unit. "The Tatoray process can more than double the production of mixed xylenes, while significantly reducing the cost of production, making it one of the most economical ways to increase yields of xylenes and benzene." Before Taiyo began using the Tatoray process, the plant used UOP Thermal Hydro-Dealkylation (THDA) technology to convert less valuable, heavy aromatics to benzene, which is used to make plastics and detergents.

As MRC wrote previously, Taiyo Petrochemical is likely to shut its styrene monomer (SM) plant for maintenance turnaround in October 2015. It is expected to remain shut for around one month. Located at Ube in Japan, the plant has a production capacity of 370,000 mt/year.

Sika increased brend value by 78%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sika has achieved outstanding results in this year’s leading brand rating in Switzerland, “Best Swiss Brands 2015” : The brand value of the international specialty chemical company has increased by 78% in the last twelve months and was assessed best improver in the ranking, said the producer.

With its current 39th position, Sika belongs to the top 50 Swiss brands. The annual rating by international agency Interbrand assessed ten internal and external factors, including the financial strength (economic profit) of a company. On this criterion, Sika outperformed other leading Swiss brands and laid the foundation for increasing its brand value. Sales in 2014 reached record levels in all regions and all relevant growth targets were exceeded with sales of CHF 5,571.3 million, an EBIT of CHF 633.2 million and a net profit of CHF 441.2 million.

Another driver of the brand value gain were Sika’s comprehensive communication activities to shape the company’s reputation and increase brand awareness, such as a worldwide advertising campaign based on the attributes of performance and trust. Furthermore, in 2014 Sika engaged with key stakeholders in a transparent and holistic way by offering comprehensive information about the company's strength and major achievements through events, media initiatives and a renewed web presence.

As MRC informed earlier, Sika net profit for the 12 months to Dec. 31 rose to 441.2 mln Swiss francs (USD463.5 mln), from 344.7 mln francs in 2013. The figure beat analyst expectations of 414 mln francs. Sales, which were previously announced on Jan. 13, rose 8.4% to 5.57 bn francs from 5.14 bn francs a year earlier.

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.MRC