Tianjin mayor promising relocation of chemical plants near blast site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Huang Xingguo, mayor of Tianjin, China, has vowed to relocate chemical facilities located in the Binhai New Area near the site of the 12 Aug. fatal explosions at Ruihai International Logistics Co.’s warehouse, according to local press reports, reported GV.

The explosions occurred in a warehouse storing about 40 chemical substances, some of which are toxic, and resulted in at least 114 deaths, as well as the partial suspension of port operations.

"As the principal leader of Tianjin, I have inescapable responsibility for the incident," Huang acknowledged. He added that chemical plants would be relocated to the Nangang Industrial Zone about 25 kilometers from Binhai New Area, but gave no details on the plan.

Speaking at a news conference, Huang noted that all companies producing and storing chemicals are undergoing strict inspections and will be closed if any faults or violations are determined.

Zong Guoying, a senior official of Tianjin Binhai New Area, said Ruihai, one of three companies approved to store hazardous chemicals in Tianjin Port, acquired its license to operate in June. A final report by the State Council will determine if the location of the warehouse violated city planning and work safety laws.

As MRC wrote before, the Binhai district is home to the manufacturing sites of coatings producer COSCO Kansai Paint & Chemicals Co and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) maker Tianjin Dagu Chemical.

BASF launches new bio-based Polyol for VOC free 2K PU applications

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF, the world's pertochemical major, has extended its range of high-quality bio-based polyols sold under the Sovermol trademark, said the producer on its site.

The products are used for manufacturing extremely low-emission 2K PU coatings for interior and exterior applications. With Sovermol 830 BASF is launching a new polyol that makes indoor floorings, e.g. in industrial warehouses or sports halls, more resistant. As the resin is produced from renewable raw material and contains no volatile organic compounds (VOC) it greatly contributes to the production of more sustainable coatings with particularly high levels of stability and durability.

Due to a specific chemical modification, the complex polyether-ester polyol has excellent water-repellent properties. It exhibits excellent curing properties, even in challenging curing environments with high humidity and temperature. Due to its high filling levels and low processing viscosity, Sovermol 830 helps to lower the overall cost of a formulation. In addition, the shore D hardness of this thermoplastic material exceeds 60. Despite the extended processing time of Sovermol 830, the material can be walked on after one day only, which ensures shorter downtimes and, consequently, lower costs.

The polyol can be used in coatings for industrial floorings, coatings exposed to potable water and semi-structural adhesives.

BASF offers coatings producers appropriate high-performance additives that can be combined with Sovermol 830. In addition, the company’s portfolio comprises suitable cross-linkers and co-binders that enable customers to achieve the required mechanical properties.

As MRC informed previously, BASF is further strengthening its production footprint in Asia Pacific with the start-up of its first production plant for polymer dispersions in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia. This production plant is built at the existing BASF production site, located in the Pasir Gudang Industrial Park of the Johor Free Trade Zone. The plant is BASF’s third polymer dispersions plant in ASEAN, complementing the existing dispersions plants in Jakarta and Merak, Indonesia.

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.

R. D. Abbott expands distribution for Lanxess TSR business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- R. D. Abbott Company, Inc. (RDA) has signed a new distribution agreement with the Tire and Specialty Rubber (TSR) business unit of Lanxess Corporation, expanding their working relationship to the entire USA, effective from 1 July 2015, as per GV.

Prior to this revised agreement, RDA represented Lanxess’ TSR product lines in the western USA.

The agreement includes the following trade names: X_Butyl (including regular butyl, chlorobutyl, bromobutyl, and ionomer) and Buna (including CoBR, NdBR, LiBR, ESBR, SSBR). On the same date, Lanxess affiliate Rhein Chemie Additives has ceased distribution of these product lines.

As MRC wrote earlier, in 2014, German specialty chemicals company Lanxess, the world’s largest synthetic rubber supplier, and Korean Hankook Tire signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to co-develop synthetic rubber technologies for high-performance tire. Under the agreement, the two companies is jointly studying the development of new high-performance synthetic rubber grades and applications that increase the performance of tires from early stages of product development.

Lanxess is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.0 billion in 2014 and about 16,300 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of Lanxess is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.

Kuraray completes acquisition of Plantic Technologies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kuraray, Japanese manufacturer of performance-based polymer and synthetic chemistry technologies, has announced that it has completed the acquisition of all of the shares in Australia-based Plantic Technologies Limited, a producer of biomass-based barrier films, from Gordon Merchant No. 2 Pty Ltd., as per GV.

Financial details were not disclosed. Plantic has 70 employees and is estimated to reach a revenue of approximately JPY 3 billion (EUR 22.9 million) in 2015.

Plantic film is used in a broad range of products in the barrier packaging sector. The company is supplying major supermarkets and brand owners on three continents (Australia, North America and Europe).

As MRC informed previously, Kuraray was the first to commercialise the high-performance barrier resin, EVAL (ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer), which it launched in 1972. EVAL boasts the highest level of gas barrier properties of all plastics and is the market leading barrier resin used in food packaging and industrial barrier applications. In addition, Kuraray has developed and launched Kurarister a transparent barrier film for retort applications.

The acquisition of Plantic enables Kuraray to provide barrier materials which meet the increasing global demand of bio-based food packaging materials. This is in line with Kuraray’s corporate mission.

Kuraray expects that its global sales network will assist to develop the bio-based barrier business in Europe, USA and Asia, responding to the global demand of improved freshness, reduced food loss and waste with the use of environmentally friendly material, Plantic film.

Kuraray produces specialty chemicals, fibres and other materials, including functional resins and films, synthetic isoprene chemical products, synthetic leather, vinylon fibre and polyester fibre.

TSMC shut SM plant in Taiwan for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Taiwan Styrene Monomer Corp (TSMC) has shut operations at its styrene monomer (SM) plant, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Taiwan informed that the plant was taken offstream over the weekend. It is likely to remain off-stream for around one month.

Located at Linyuan in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the plant has a production capacity of 180,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, TSMC had extended the shutdown at its SM plant in Taiwan by another two weeks. It was shut on October 1, 2014 owing to technical issues. Located at in Yuan in Taiwan, the plant has a production capacity of 160,000 mt/year.

Besides, Styrindo Mono Indonesia (SMI) shut down its No.1 styrene monomer plant for maintenance turnaround in H2 November 2014. The plant is slated to be shut for around one month. Located in Merak, Indonesia, the plant has a production capacity of 100,000 mt/year.