BASF and Fraunhofer IPMS-CNT jointly develop electronic materials

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF and Fraunhofer IPMS-CNT announced that they have joined forces to develop innovative solutions for the semiconductor industry. BASF has installed a modern tool for electrochemical metal deposition at the Fraunhofer IPMS Center for Nanoelectronic Technologies (CNT) in Dresden, said the company in its press release.

In pilot tests at the CNT, the latest technologies and innovative chemicals are further developed and tailored for BASF customers. BASF and Fraunhofer are using the same tool and technology used by customers, enabling customers to significantly reduce qualification effort. This saves customers development time, reduces their costs, and allows them to work more efficiently. When the pilot tests at the CNT are completed, customers will have direct access to ready-to-use processes for the production of advanced electronic materials.

"The collaboration with Fraunhofer IPMS-CNT in Dresden is further proof of BASF's commitment to meet the growing demands of the semiconductor industry. It allows our global customers to evaluate our innovative solutions for advanced microchip technologies under production conditions”, says Dr. Lothar Laupichler, Senior Vice President, Electronic Materials at BASF. "In our global R&D network, which now includes IPMS-CNT, we will be collaborating with customers to develop products for the semiconductor industry that surpass current standards."

Dr. Romy Liske, business unit manager at the Fraunhofer Center for Nanoelectronic Technologies, adds, "The further development of materials and processes together with BASF is an important step toward achieving the ever-growing requirements that microchips have to fulfill in terms of functionality, speed, and energy efficiency."

Microchips are widely used in the electronics industry, for example in computers, mobile phones, and electronic components for automobiles. They are manufactured on monocrystalline silicon wafers typically 300 mm in diameter in extremely clean environments known as clean rooms. The network of conductor paths in a microchip is created by means of electrochemical deposition.

As MRC informed earlier, BASF has selected Fluor as global engineering partner for its future chemical and petrochemical projects across the world. The agreement was signed at BASF's chemicals complex and headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The scope of work under the deal covers conceptual and front-end engineering, detailed engineering, procurement, project management, construction management and other services.

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.

BASF India completes transfer of textile chemicals business to Archroma India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF India has completed the sale of its global textile chemicals business to Archroma (Reinach, Switzerland), effective today, the company says in their press releases.

The sale was first announced in October 2014. Also from today, BASF India will produce and supply textile chemical products to Archroma India under a long-term supply contract.

Financial details were not disclosed. BASF India announced that the said closing has taken place and consequently, with effect from 01 July 2015, the textile chemicals business of the Company will stand transferred to Archroma India on a "going concern basis".

The Company has received an aggregate sum of Rs. 104.03 crore (Rs. 64.13 crore from Archroma towards the consideration for the sale of the business and a further sum of Rs. 39.90 crore from BASF SE towards discontinuance of the said business in terms of the commercial understanding reached between the parties).

Archroma is a global color and specialty chemicals company, headquartered in Reinach near Basel, Switzerland. It operates with approximately 3,000 employees over 35 countries. Through its three businesses: Textile Specialties, Paper Solutions and Emulsion Products, Archroma delivers specialized performance and color solutions to meet customer needs in their local markets.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It 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.


Umicore and Solvay sell SolviCore joint venture to Toray

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Umicore and Solvay today announced that they have sold their respective 50% stakes in joint venture SolviCore to Japanese chemical company Toray, said Solvay in its press release.

Since its inception in 2006, SolviCore has built up a strong portfolio of clients for its membrane electrode assemblies used in fuel cells and proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis. SolviCore will benefit from Toray's expertise in fuel cell materials and experience in mass production and will remain based in the Hanau-Wolfgang Industriepark near Frankfurt.

Both Solvay and Umicore will continue to be active in the fuel cell material market. Solvay will focus on its core competence in advanced materials that will enable key innovation in the fuel cell industry for mobility, stationary and other markets. Umicore will focus on its core competence in catalysis and continue to develop and commercialize electro-catalysts for the fuel cell industry.

Umicore is a global materials technology and recycling group. It focuses on application areas where its expertise in materials science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a real difference. Its activities are organised in three business groups: Catalysis, Energy & Surface Technologies and Recycling.

As MRC informed earlier, Solvay and INEOS received final approval today from the European Commission to form their 50/50 Chlorvinyls Joint Venture, to be known as INOVYN. This follows Commission approval of International Chemical Investors Group’s (ICIG) acquisition of the remedy business that is being divested by INEOS as a condition of clearance.

Solvay S.A. is a Belgian chemical company founded in 1863, with its head office in Neder-Over-Heembeek, Brussels, Belgium. The company has diversified into two major sectors of activity: chemicals and plastics. Solvay supplies over 1500 products across 35 brands of high-performance polymers – fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds.


Sika acquires Addiment Italia from Buzzi Unicem

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Swiss specialty chemicals company Sika AG has acquired the remaining shares of the Italian based Addiment Italia from its joint venture partner Buzzi Unicem, said the producer on its site.

The company is active in the production and sale of concrete admixtures and cement grinding aids. The transaction will strengthen Sika’s production set up in Italy and increase its market presence. Addiment Italia generated sales of EUR 14 million in 2014.

Addiment Italia has a history of over 25 years of experience in the construction market offering a broad range of concrete admixtures and cement grinding aids. In 2003 Buzzi Unicem and Sika AG formed a joint venture in order to produce an innovative range of construction chemicals that enhance the quality and performance of concrete and cement.

Pietro Buzzi, co-CEO of Buzzi Unicem: "The cooperation between Buzzi Unicem and Sika as joint venture partners of Addiment Italia has continued effectively for more than twelve years, with good understanding of the common goals and management decisions that led to great results for both employees and shareholders. We hope that our future business relationship will continue with the same long lasting success."

Paul Schuler, Head of region EMEA: "The acquisition will allow us to further build upon the successful partnership between Buzzi Unicem and Sika in the admixture business worldwide and strengthen the operational footprint in Italy. We welcome the new employees on board and look forward to developing the business together."

As MRC wrote previously, 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.

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.

JX Nippon Oil and Energy restarted CDU in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- JX Nippon Oil and Energy has restarted the No.1 crude distillation unit (CDU) at its Kashima refinery in Japan, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Japan informed that the 189,000 bpd CDU restarted on June 27, 2015. It was shut on May 29, 2015 following a fire at the Kashima refinery.

The Kashima refinery of JX Nippon has a crude processing capacity of 252,000 bpd.

As MRC wrote before, on January 6, 2015, Japan's JX Nippon Oil and Energy shut its olefins conversion unit (OCU) in Kawasaki indefinitely. The shutdown has been attributed to compressed margins in the wake of low propylene prices as compared to prices of ethylene.

The Nippon Oil Corporation, or NOC or Shin-Nisseki is a Japanese petroleum company. Its businesses include the exploration, importation, and refining of crude oil; the manufacture and sale of petroleum products, including olefines (ethylene, propylene) and aromatics.