Hanwha Chemical to shut LDPE/EVA plants in Sout Korea for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hanwha Chemical is in plans to shut two low density polyethylene/ethylene vinyl acetate (LDPE/EVA) swing plant for maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in South Korea informed that while one plant is planned to be shut in September 2015, the other is likely to be shut in October 2015. Both are planned to remain off-stream for around 5-10 days.

Located at Ulsan and Yeosu in South Korea, the plants have a combined production capacity of 427,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, in November 2014, South Korea's Samsung Group said it was selling stakes in four chemical and defence firms for 1.9 trillion won (USD1.72 billion) to Hanwha Group, the latest move in the massive task of restructuring the country's largest conglomerate.

Hanwha Group, South Korea's 10th-largest conglomerate, said separately the acquisitions would boost its petrochemicals and defence-related businesses, and add around 12 trillion won in sales based on 2013 figures.

Iran develops technology to produce petrochemical catalysts

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iran has developed its own technology to produce catalysts that are used by isomerisation units of oil refineries and petrochemical complexes, said Chemicals-technology.

The country has so far depended on the US for catalysts that are used to produce Euro-5 and Euro-6 gasoline.
With the latest development, the country claims to break the monopoly of the US in the segment, and makes Iran the second country in the world to produce catalysts.

Supplying Petrochemical Industries Parts, Equipments and Chemical Engineering (SPEC) managing director Jalil Sobhani was quoted by Iranian media as saying: "Iran has achieved the technology needed to produce such catalysts, thus becoming the second country in the world in this regard."

"In recent years, Iran has significantly expanded its presence in petrochemical segment with plans to become a major producer in the Middle East."

Iranian scientists have already created around 25 precious metals-containing catalysts for use by refinery and petrochemical industries. SPEC said it is preparing to produce Euro-5 and Euro-6 gasoline catalysts, and is ready to accept orders. Iran-based Exir Novin Farayand Asia and SPEC have partnered to commission a production line to produce oil industry catalysts, reported Tasnim.

In recent years, Iran has significantly expanded its presence in petrochemical segment with plans to become a major producer in the Middle East. The country is estimated to host third-largest oil reserves and largest natural gas reserves in the world.

As MRC informed previously, it has been more than 50 years that Iran started producing petrochemical products and Iran National Petrochemical Company (NPC) is celebrating its anniversary this year. Iran, as one of the main energy hubs in the world, with huge oil and gas reserves, is one of the leading producers of petrochemical products in the world.


BASF inaugurates new research building in Ludwigshafen

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF inaugurated a new research building in Ludwigshafen after two years of construction, said the company in its press release.

The building in the south of the Ludwigshafen site accommodates around 200 employees of the research division Advanced Materials & Systems Research who have so far worked in different buildings in Ludwigshafen. The laboratories and offices in the seven-storey building account for a total surface area of approximately 11,000 square meters, the construction costs amount to around EUR50 million.

"For the long-term success of BASF it is important to strengthen the global presence of our research and development activities, especially in Asia Pacific and the Americas. Ludwigshafen, however, remains the largest site of our R&D Verbund. This is underlined by the investment in the new building, which is a clear commitment to the Ludwigshafen research site," said Dr. Martin Brudermuller, Vice Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and Chief Technology Officer of BASF SE.

The new building is located between further research facilities, in which employees of the same research division work. The new building is connected with two neighbouring buildings via a ground level corridor and a bridge.

In the Advanced Materials & Systems Research division, BASF develops new structural materials, dispersions, functional materials as well as organic and inorganic additives for a wide range of customer industries including automotive, construction, packaging, paints, detergents and cleaning products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, water and the wind industry.

As MRC said before, in April 2015, BASF developed new ingredients and innovative concepts for the personal care market. Driving forward the development of the brand Care CreationsTM, the company is taking a more and more science based approach to explore consumer needs: the focus is on a validated typology system with which users can define different consumer personalities.

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.


Amcor continues acquisition strategy in India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Australian packaging giant Amcor Ltd. has continued its global expansion, buying Packaging India Pvt. Ltd. (PIPL) from Essel Propack Ltd. for USD26.4 million, said Plasticsnews.

Essel, based in Mumbai, India, is a publicly listed specialty packaging company. An Amcor statement said PIPL has three plants in India and produces flexible packaging mainly for food and personal care markets. It said the business has multinational and Indian customers and generates annual sales of about USD40 million.

PIPL was established in 1990 and has blown film extrusion, printing, laminating, slitting and pouch-making facilities at plants in Pondicherry, Sitarganj and Cuddalore.

The Pondicherry plant, 93 miles south of Chennai, opened in 1990, and Sitarganj, 155 miles northeast of New Delhi, opened in 2007. Both manufacture food packaging. The Cuddalore plant, near Pondicherry, manufactures gravure printing cylinders and rollers. It opened in 2008.

Amcor already has four flexible packaging plants in India. Amcor’s statement said the PIPL acquisition expands Amcor’s footprint into southern India, "increases the local talent pool, and adds to existing blown film and cylinder-making capabilities."

Essel Propack Vice Chairman and Managing Director Ashok Goel said in a statement divesting PIPL is "in line with our strategic decision to intensify focus on the core tube packaging business globally, including India."

He said there is significant growth in demand for laminated tubes.

In March, Amcor bought South African-based Nampak Holdings Ltd.’s Nampak Flexibles division for USD22 million. In December, it bought Zhongshan Tian Cai Packaging Co. Ltd., which has one plant in Zhongshan, in China’s Guangdong province, and annual sales of USD45.2 million.

Melbourne-based Amcor manufactures rigid and flexible plastic packaging products for the food, beverage, healthcare, home and personal care, and tobacco industries. It has annual sales of USD9.5 billion and employs 27,200 across 180 sites in 43 countries.

Amcor Limited is an Australian-based multinational packaging company. It operates manufacturing plants in 42 countries. It is the world's largest manufacturer of plastic bottles.

Asahi Kasei Fibers to expand production capacity for Bemliese

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asahi Kasei Fibers will construct a new production facility for Bemliese cellulose nonwoven fabric in Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Japan, reported the company on its site.

Bemliese is the world’s only continuous-filament cellulose nonwoven fabric. It is composed of regenerated cellulose fiber made from cotton linter, the short fibers on cotton seeds. These natural origins impart a high level of environmental compatibility which makes Bemliese the ideal material for a wide range of applications - in the skincare and medical fields, as wipers for industrial and commercial use, in landscaping, and in beverage filtration.

Sold in markets around the world, Bemliese is enjoying particularly strong demand growth in skincare applications, and such demand growth is forecasted to continue. The new production facility will enable Asahi Kasei Fibers to better meet the needs of customers as markets for Bemliese expand worldwide.

As MRC informed before, Asahi Kasei’s (Tokyo, Japan) Fibers division will expand production capacity for polypropylene spunbond nonwovens in Thailand at its subsidiary Asahi Kasei Spunbond (Thailand) Co. AKST will add a new production line of 20,000 metric tons per year capacity which, combined with its existing production line, will double its capacity for spunbond nonwovens to 40,000 m.t/yr. The investment for the capacity expansion is approximately USD5 billion, with a scheduled startup of November 2015.

Asahi Kasei Corporation is a global Japanese chemical company. Its main products are chemicals and materials science.