ACON Investments forming major South American packaging firm

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US private equity investment firm ACON Investments has completed acquisitions of Columbia-based rigid plastic personal care packaging manufacturer Intecplast and Pieriplast, a Peruvian supplier of customized packaging for the direct sales cosmetics industry, said Plasticsnews.

Intecplast and Pieriplast will be consolidated under a new holding company, Amfora Packaging, to form one of the largest pan-Andean plastic packaging companies with over 800 employees and production facilities in Lima, Peru and Bogota, Colombia.

Founded in 1982 in Bogota, Colombia, Interplast is a leading manufacturer or rigid plastic packaging solutions using injection, blow molding, injection stretch blow molding and injection blow molding for the cosmetics, personal care and pharmaceutical industries in the Adean region and Columbia.

Pieriplast, established in Lima, Brazil in 1987, produces a diverse portfolio of packaging formats including mascaras, lipsticks, powder dispensers, jars, and perfume caps. Pieriplast services direct sales cosmetics companies in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Brazil.

ACON is a private equity investment firm focusing on the United States and Latin America. Founded in 1996, it said manages USD3.6 billion in investments regionally, with an interest in medium-sized businesses across a range of industries, including retail and light manufacturing.

Last year the company bought cooler maker Igloo Products Corp. of Katy, Texas, and in January it announced that Igloo purchased bottle maker Cool Gear International LLC.


Coca-Cola makes PET bottle from plants using Virent BioFormPX paraxylene

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Coca-Cola has introduced the world's first polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle made entirely from plants using Virent's BioFormPX paraxylene (PX), as per GV.

Coca-Cola and Virent have been working together since 2011 to develop and commercialize Virent's bio-based paraxylene technology for use in Coca-Cola's PlantBottle packaging.

Since 2009, Coca-Cola has distributed more than 35-billion bottles using its current version of PlantBottle packaging, made from up to 30% plant-based materials.

"The Coca-Cola Co. continues its innovative leadership commitment to sustainability and is a valued partner for Virent," said Virent Chief Executive Lee Edwards. "Their support of our plans for the BioFormPX material in the next generation of PlantBottle packaging is critical in attracting manufacturing investment from the PET supply chain," he added.

As MRC wrote before, in September 2014, Coca-Cola Company made an additional investment in the US-based Virent, which is developing its bio-based PX - BioFormPX. This investment will enable Virent to scale up separation and purification of BioFormPX material at their demonstration plant in Madison, Wisconsin.

SK Global plans sale of Nexlene assets to polyethylene venture with Sabic

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SK Global Chemical Co. has announced plans to sell its Nexlene polyethylene (PE) solution technology business to Sabic SK Nexlene Co., its equally owned PE joint venture with Sabic Industrial Investments Co., as per GV.

With the sale, for which a closing date was not given, SK will retain a 50% stake in the Nexlene assets through the joint venture with Sabic.

Sabic SK Nexlene has a 230,000-t/y metallocene linear low-density PE plant in Ulsan, South Korea, which is expected to begin commercial production during the second half of this year.

The venture has said it plans to build a second plant based on the Nexlene technology in Saudi Arabia, and, over time, expects to establish production bases globally.

As MRC wrote before, Sabic has recently broadened its SABIC PCG portfolio for healthcare with the addition of a new LDPE grade to help the global IV packaging industry benefit from consistent and reliable supply.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the worldпїЅs top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

Henkel to build EUR30m adhesives plant in India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Germany-based Henkel has unveiled plans to build an adhesives plant at Kurkumbh, near Pune, in the Indian state of Maharashtra, with an investment of EUR30m, said Chemicals-technology.

With production planned to start by early 2017, the facility will be constructed in phases and will serve automotive, metal and industrial segments. It will be the tenth plant for Henkel in India. The first phase will have an operational area of around 20,000m, and is expected to produce 80,000t of adhesives and surface treatment products annually.

"This plant will enable us to localise our product portfolio and reduce imports, while bringing the best global technology to India." Henkel Group India president Jeremy Hunter said: "This plant will enable us to localise our product portfolio and reduce imports, while bringing the best global technology to India.

"Considering the proximity of the plant to our customers, it will also help us to work closely with them in developing solutions. We are aiming to win a greater market share in India, which is one of the biggest emerging markets for us."

The project is in line with the company's plan to strengthen its presence in the emerging markets. With this investment, Henkel aims to obtain a 40% share in the adhesives segment in India.

The Kurkumbh facility will be designed in compliance with LEED standards set by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), and will implement the highest safety, health and environment standards.

Business Standard cited Hunter as saying that the company intends to double its revenue in India in the next five years.

By the end of 2016, Henkel expects to record net sales of EUR10bn in markets where it already has strong presence.

As MRC informed earlier, in April 2015, Henkel said it plans to acquire Novamelt, a privately owned company based at Wehr in southern Germany, to further enhance its competence in the area of hotmelt adhesives

Henkel operates in three business units, including laundry and home care, beauty care and adhesive technologies.

GS E&C cancels construction contract for Kazakhstan polyethylene project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- GS Engineering & Construction has notified the Korea Stock Exchange that it has withdrawn from a USD 1.4-billion contract to build a polyethylene (PE) plant in Kazakhstan, reported GV with reference to an industry source.

In 2013, a consortium of GS, Petrofac and Linde received a contract from Kazakhstan LG Polyethylene LLP (KLPE) for a PE plant comprised of two 400,000-t/y lines. The project is part of KLPE’s integrated petrochemicals complex and infrastructure project in the Tengiz and Karabatan regions of Kazakhstan.

GS attributed its decision to cancel the contract to a disagreement on the cost of construction for the project.

KLPE is an equally-owned joint venture of Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries and LG Chem.

GS Engineering & Construction (GS E&C) is aiming to take a larger piece of the global construction pie. Founded in 1969, the company provides engineering and construction services to a variety of industries around the world. GS E&C's civil division builds roads, bridges, railroads, underground subways, and harbors. Its plant division undertakes work on oil and gas and petrochemical facilities. Projects include sewage system maintenance and wastewater treatment and commissioning of nuclear power plants. GS E&C also builds housing across Korea and in Vietnam. In addition to offices in South Korea, the firm has offices in China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Italy, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.