USI to restart HDPE/LLDPE plant in Taiwan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- USI Group has shut its high density polypropylene (HDPE)/linear low density polypropylene (LLDPE), as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Taiwan informed that the plant was shut early this week owing to weak demand fundamentals. It is likely to be restarted in mid-July 2015.

Located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the plant has a production capacity of 140,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, in mid-June 2015 PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), Thailand's largest petrochemical maker, shut its HDPE plant for maintenance turnaround. It is likely to remain off-stream for around 2 weeks. Located at Map Ta Phut in Thailand, the plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

Besides, PTT Global Chemical PCL shut down for maintenance its olefins plant I-4/1 for 21 days from March 29, ahead of schedule. The shutdown, earlier planned for August, which involves cleaning up quench oil tower, will allow the plant to boost its efficiency faster and suit with the market situation.

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.