BASF expands production capacity for emollients and waxes in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF will expand its emollients and waxes production capacity with a new plant at its site in Jinshan, Shanghai. The investment, complementing the current production of wax esters, emulsifiers and primary surfactants in Jinshan, will further enhance BASF’s local production and better serve the growing personal care market in Asia Pacific, said the company in its press release.

The Asian beauty and personal care industry has become increasingly influential in the worldwide marketplace. To serve sophisticated end consumer demands better, brand owners today are actively finding ways to innovate products with high performance, unique aesthetics, and outstanding texture and skin feel. As the leading supplier to the personal care industry, BASF endeavors to mobilize resources to serve global, regional and local brands better and quicker.

"Emollients and waxes are important in governing the tactile feeling and skin sensation of end products. China is one of the biggest personal care markets. Strengthening our production facility in China allows us to serve customers in the region quicker with greater flexibility. Combined with our technical services, market insights and knowledge, a reliable supply of high quality emollients and waxes will complement our strengths in serving Asian customers better," said Dr. Thomas Groesser, Senior Vice President of Care Chemicals Asia Pacific, BASF. The additional facility is anticipated to go on stream in the first quarter of 2017. With easy access to BASF Innovation Campus Asia Pacific (Shanghai), which is BASF’s largest research site in Asia Pacific, the additional facility will enable close collaboration in the development of innovative products meeting specific Asian personal care needs.

The Jinshan production site manufactures a variety of personal care raw materials including wax esters, emulsifiers and primary surfactants. The major applications of emollients and waxes are for skin care, baby and child care, deodorants, and oral care. Several products produced in the Jinshan plant are derived from natural feedstock including palm (kernel) oil. The Jinshan site is certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) supply chain certification system, using the Mass Balance (MB) model to assure the use of RSPO certified sustainable palm (kernel) oil products.

As MRC informed earlier, BASF SE will be offering its customers in Europe GPPS (general purpose polystyrene) from its production facility in Ludwigshafen. As well as utilizing it for its own needs – polystyrene is used for example for manufacturing Neopor and Styrodur – a sufficient quantity is now available following the expiry of contractual obligations for it to be supplied to customers.

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.


SABIC, SK Global Chemical open new industrial facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC and South Korean petrochemical company SK Global Chemical inaugurated a new industrial plant to manufacture a range of high-performance polyethylene products using the cutting-edge Nexlene Solution Technology, said Arabnews.

The ceremony was attended by SABIC Chairman Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud and Acting Vice Chairman and CEO Yousef A. Al-Benyan and Executive Vice Presidents Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh and Yousef Al-Zamel.
SK was represented by Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, SK Innovation CEO Chung Chul-Khil, and Cha Hwa-youp, SK Global Chemical CEO. Also in attendance were Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Yoon Sang-jick and Ulsan Mayor Kim Gi-hyeon.

The 50-50 joint venture holding company, SABIC SK Nexlene Company (SSNC) was established last July and is headquartered in Singapore. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Korea Nexlene Company (KNC), owns the plant in Ulsan, which has an annual capacity of 230,000 tons. The aggregate purchase price for the technology and plant is approximately USD 640 million.

The plant will produce metallocene linear low density polyethylene (mLLDPE), polyolefin plastomers (POP) and polyolefin elastomers (POE) that will meet the growing needs of diverse industries such as advanced packaging, automotive, health care, footwear and electrical and lighting.

SK Global Chemical is a pioneering petrochemical company in Korea, being the first in the country to build a naphtha cracking facility in 1972. Through continuous facility investment, R&D and technological improvement, the company has maintained its position as the leader of the petrochemical industry in Korea.

SABIC is a diversified manufacturing company, active in chemicals and intermediates, industrial polymers, fertilizers and metals. It is the largest public company in Saudi Arabia. It is the largest company in the Middle East.
SABIC is currently the second largest global ethylene glycol producer and is expected to become number one after the introduction of these new projects. SABIC is the third largest polyethylene manufacturer, the fourth largest polyolefins manufacturer and the fourth largest polypropylene manufacturer. It is also the world's largest producer of mono-ethylene glycol, MTBE, granular urea, polyphenylene and polyether.MRC

Clariant commercialises new catalyst in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, today announced the successful start-up and operation of its pre-sulfided ShiftMax 820S Sour Gas Shift (SGS) catalyst at a commercial methanol production facility of Shanghai Huayi Energy Chemical Co. Ltd., said the company in its press release.

The achievement is of particular significance as it is the first industrial application of the newly introduced ShiftMax 820S catalyst in China. Clariant's new generation ShiftMax 820S SGS catalyst employs a proprietary pre-sulfiding process, which offers many advantages for coal-to-chemical producers. The new catalyst greatly improves working conditions by avoiding the use of flammable and toxic agents, such as carbon disulfide or dimethyl sulfide, during the commissioning phase. Moreover, it reduces the risk of high temperature excursions and sulfur emissions during plant start-up and production.

ShiftMax 820S also optimizes processes as it is typically ready for start-up three times faster than conventional catalysts. Besides saving time, the higher activity of ShiftMax 820S reduces syngas and energy requirements, thus allowing more economical, efficient and simplified operations. ShiftMax 820S is part of an industrially proven catalyst series, which are suitable for all types of coal-to-chemical applications and gasification technologies. The catalyst can be used as a simple drop-in solution without changing any plant equipment.

The launch of ShiftMax 820S demonstrates Clariant's commitment to offering advanced catalytic solutions for the chemical industry. Another recent introduction is a new SGS process, jointly developed by Clariant and Siemens. Through optimization and simplification of total plant concepts, the new SGS process reduces capital expenditure for the shift system by up to 20%, and optimizes operating costs with up to 30% lower catalyst volume. Futhermore, the technique can handle different steam-to-gas ratios and high carbon monoxide content without adjustment of the feed gas, resulting in improved availability and reliability of the whole process. Thanks to steam-independent control of the exothermal reaction, it is an inherently safe process and there is no risk of temperature run-away reactions. The new SGS process is available for use by all coal gasification companies.

As MRC informed earlier, Clariant entered into an agreement with an intent to acquire a part of Vivimed Labs Limited's personal care portfolio, subject to necessary regulatory, statutory and other approvals, as may be required.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.

Honeywell new refrigerant named R&D 100 award finalist

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell announced that its new Solstice refrigerant for supermarket refrigeration has been named a finalist for the R&D 100 Awards, sponsored by R&D Magazine, said the company in its press-release.

The R&D 100 Awards honors the 100 most innovative technologies and services of the past year. Evaluated with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Solstice N40 (R-448A) refrigerant replaces high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants in supermarket applications. It is part of a growing line of Solstice products for applications ranging from auto air conditioning to highly energy efficient appliance and building insulation that provide a significantly lower GWP.

"Naming Solstice N40 a finalist for this award recognizes more than a decade of research and investment that resulted in new solutions to help end customers lower their greenhouse gas impact while complying with new and anticipated regulations," said George Koutsaftes, refrigerants business director for Honeywell Fluorine Products. "In addition to its lower environmental impact, Solstice N40 is highly energy efficient, giving supermarket owners an added benefit."

Solstice N40 was nominated by the publication in the Mechanical Devices/Materials category. "This was a particularly strong year for research and development, led by many outstanding technologies that broadened the scope of innovation," said R&D Magazine Editor Lindsay Hock.

Global regulators are increasingly moving to phase out high GWP refrigerants and, on July 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published landmark regulations that will phase out the use of many hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants. The new regulation, effective July 2016, will require supermarkets, the largest consumers of the HFC refrigerant R-404A in the U.S., to discontinue its use as a retrofit refrigerant. R-404A will also not be permitted for use in new supermarkets beginning Jan. 1, 2017.

As MRC informed earlier, Honeywell has opened a new manufacturing facility in China to produce catalysts used to make components for plastics production.

Trinseo names new executives

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Materials maker Trinseo has made several executive changes, including promoting Martin Pugh to chief operating officer and executive vice president, said Plasticsnews.

In an Oct. 7 news release, officials with Berwyn, Pa.-based Trinseo described the COO position as "a newly created interim role." "We are establishing the COO position as an interim role as the company implements a number of strategic initiatives," president and CEO Chris Pappas said in the release.

Pugh previously had served as senior vice president and business president for Trinseo’s Performance Materials unit, which included rubber, latex and plastics sold into certain markets. He also had been overseeing the firm’s styrenic polymers and polycarbonate businesses temporarily.

Pugh has more than 35 years of chemical industry experience. He joined Trinseo in early 2013 when the firm still was operating under the Styron name. Market veterans Tim Stedman and Hayati Yarkadas are joining Trinseo as senior vice presidents. Stedman will serve as business president of Basic Plastics and Feedstocks, while Yarkadas will have a similar role with Performance Materials.

Stedman had been with ExxonMobil Chemical for 22 years. Yarkadas’ previous industry experience includes stints with Tate & Lyle and DuPont Co. Both Stedman and Yarkadas will be based in Horgen, Switzerland.

Three current Trinseo executives also have been given new roles. Francesca Reverberi will serve as global business director of Basic Plastics, Celso Magri as global product director of Basic Plastics and Samer Al Jabi as global business director of Synthetic Rubber.

Trinseo employs 2,100 worldwide and posted sales of USD5.1 billion in 2014. In the first half of 2015, the firm posted a USD38.5 million profit after losing USD27.5 million in the first half of 2014. Trinseo accomplished this turnaround even as first-half sales fell 24 percent to less than USD2.1 billion.

This improvement also has been reflected in Trinseo’s per-share stock price. It began the year near USD17.50 but was at USD31.60 in late trading Oct. 7 for an increase of just over 80 percent.

As MRC informed earlier, Styron, the global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, has announced it has changed its name to Trinseo, effective February 1, 2015.

Trinseo is a leading global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, dedicated to collaborating with customers to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions. Trinseo’s technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Trinseo had approximately USD5.3 billion in revenue in 2013, with 19 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,100 employees.