Denka completes purchase of Dupont chloroprene rubber business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Denka Performance Elastomer (DPE), a new joint venture between Denka Co. and Mitsui & Co., has completed the acquisition of DuPont’s chloroprene rubber business, said the company in its press release.

The sale was announced in December last year. The business includes part of DuPont’s production facilities at the Pontchartrain works site at La Place, LA. Denka has been operating a chloroprene rubber plant at its Omi plant at Itoigawa, Niigata, Japan.

Having obtained the aforementioned approval from the authorities of each country, the three entities completed procedures for the business acquisition in accordance with the agreement. DPE has thus become the manager of chloroprene rubber-related operations that DuPont has divested, including a part of production facilities at the Pontchartrain Works site (La Place, Louisiana, the United States), from November 1, 2015.

Denka has long been operating a chloroprene rubber production facility in its Omi Plant (Itoigawa, Niigata, Japan). We are now poised to deploy an even stronger supply structure with the second facility in North America, which will better position us to achieve greater customer satisfaction through the stable provision of high-quality chloroprene rubber.

This acquisition has been positioned as a key move in light of our policy of creating the most optimal production system based on the Denka100 management plan growth strategy. Using the acquisition as a springboard, we will endeavor to realize the plan's numerical targets at the earliest possible date.

DuPont is an American chemical company that was founded in July, 1802. The company manufactures a wide range of chemical products, leading extensive innovative research in this field. The company is the inventor of many unique plastics and other materials, including neoprene, nylon, Teflon, Kevlar, Mylar, Tyvek, etc. DuPont was the developer and main producer of Freon used in the production of refrigeration equipment.

Global LDPE market projected to expand at a healthy CAGR of 5.6% till

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global low density polyethylene (LDPE) market is projected to expand at a healthy CAGR of 5.6% in terms of value during until 2025, as per Plastemart with reference to Future Market Insights (FMI).

Demand for LDPE is primarily driven by widening span of various end-use applications and products. Macro-economic factors including developing retail sector, urbanization, growing prominence of recyclable products and rapid commercialization in developing economies are further driving growth of the global LDPE market.

As of 2014, Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) accounted for around 27.8% market share by value, followed by North America, Western Europe and other regions. APEJ region is expected to witness significant growth and gain market share during the forecast period. Revenue from developed economies are collectively expected to expand at a CAGR of 3.4% during the forecast period. China is expected to emerge as the single largest market in terms of value, surpassing the U.S. by end of the forecast period.

In 2014, the film & sheets application was the largest segment in the global low density polyethylene market, followed by the extrusion coating and injection moulding segments. The film & sheets application segment is projected to remain the largest segment throughout the forecast period, creating an incremental opportunity of USD16080.7 mln between 2015 and 2025.

In 2014, tubular reactor was the largest technology segment in the global LDPE market. The autoclave segment is expected to create an incremental opportunity of USD 5,793.3 Mn for LDPE producers over the forecast period.

Some key players in the LDPE market that have been covered in this study include LyondellBasell Industries N.V., ExxonMobil Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), BASF-YPC Company Limited, LG Chem Ltd., E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Braskem S.A., Formosa Plastics Corporation and Qatar Petrochemical Company.

As MRC wrote before, the bio-based polyethylene market is estimated to grow to USD751.9 mln by 2019 at a CAGR 12.3%.

Total to sue engineering firm for project mismanagement that led to delays and excessive costs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total Specialties USA is suing an engineering firm claiming that flawed and incomplete drawings led to delays and excessive costs in building Total's new USD5 million unit at its high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant in Pasadena, as per Converter News.

Total Specialties USA, a U.S. unit of French oil company Total, sued CDI Corp. in a Harris County state district court for breach of contract and negligence in what Total says is project mismanagement. Many of the drawings were never completed or were drawn improperly, the lawsuit alleges.

CDI Corp. did not respond to requests for comment. The lawyer representing Houston-based Total Specialties did not return a call for comment.

The existing Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA plant in Pasadena has a capacity of 900 million lbs of polyethylene per year. Polyethylene is used in numerous plastic products.

Total initially planned to complete the project last October. But it ended up months behind schedule and has incurred unnecessary costs, including replaced and reworked steel, piping, valves, air coolers, compressors and electrical systems, the plaintiff alleges. When delays surfaced, Total and CDI devised a revised schedule. But Total says that CDI never met the deadlines it promised. Total alleges that CDI mismanaged the project by having "no perceivable internal procedures, no perceivable project controls, and no unified software system."

As MRC reported before, in December 2014, Total permanently shut its HDPE line in Belgium. The plant was shut permanently owing to weak margins which have arisen on account of cheap imports in the region. Located at Antwerp in Belgium, the line had a production capacity of 70,000 mt/year.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

Chemical sector in Vietnam restructuring to boost exports

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The chemical industry of Vietnam is under an overhaul with an aim to boost exports of high value products, as per GV.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade recently approved the restructuring plan for the chemical industry for the country's industrialisation, modernisation and sustainable development by 2020, with a vision for 2030.

One of the prime goals is to enhance the quality and diversify the tyre and tube product categories to firstly meet domestic demand and then boost exports of products of high value products such as radial tyres, special car tyres, and tube-less motorcycle tyres.

Vietnam currently has an estimated 830 firms involved in tyre products, including 30 manufacturers, 170 exporters and 460 importers.

The rubber industry is currently led by three giants, Sao Vang, Da Nang and the Southern Rubber Company, all of whom are under the Vietnam National Chemical Group.

Under the approved planning of the chemical industry, other sectors to be restructured include fertiliser, crop protection chemicals, petrochemicals, and the pharmaceutical chemistry, in addition to basic chemicals, chemical power, and industrial gas. Industries producing detergent wash and ink would also be restructured.

As MRC informed previously, in September 2014, Top Thai energy firm PTT Pcl said it would make a proposal to the Vietnamese government to build a USD20 billion refinery and petrochemical complex, revised down from an earlier project discussed two years ago. The project, which requires investment of about 600 billion baht (USD18.8 billion), now includes a 400,000 bpd refinery and olefins and aromatic petrochemical plants. The construction of the refinery is scheduled to be completed by 2021, and most of products will serve domestic demand in Vietnam. The petrochemical complex will have an annual production capacity of 2.9 million tonnes of olefins and 2 million tonnes of aromatic products, and most of the petrochemical products will be exported.

BASF developed Palusol fire-protection panels with new epoxy resin coating

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has developed a new epoxy resin which improves the properties of the Palusol fire-protection panels. The epoxy resin is set to be used in Palusol production from 2016, as per the company's press release.

The new generation of Palusol fire-protection panels delivers a greater protective effect thanks to improved barrier properties. These include higher thermal resilience and lower permeability to water vapor and carbon dioxide substances which would change the chemical composition of the panels and prevent them from expanding and thus have an adverse effect on their resistance to heat.

The viscosity of the new epoxy resin coating is also lower, which means that the coating that is applied in production is spread more evenly on the Palusol panel. In addition, the new coating dries faster on the foam compared to the conventional type of coating. The primary aim of complying with the requirements of the REACH European chemicals regulation is again met by the new generation of fire-protection panels.

"The aim of our development work was to develop an improved formulation to deliver significant benefits both for us in the manufacturing process and for customers using the product," says Michael Kopietz, head of production for Palusol. "Tests prove that we have achieved these aims and we are delighted that we will soon be able to begin series production."

At present, a number of customers are already being provided with samples of the new Palusol fire-protection panels. Series production will commence in the course of 2016 at the production site in Frankenthal.

Palusol fire-protection panels have been classified as non-flammable. In case of fire the panels expand under high temperatures and foaming pressure, giving rise to non-flammable and thermally insulating foam. This foam then fills the joints and gaps, thus preventing the propagation of heat, fire and smoke for a certain period of time. Palusol is used in fire doors, fire protection glazing as well as in fireproof bulkheads for pipes, cables and ventilation elements.

As MRC wrote previously, BASF, the world's petrochemical major, has recently developed innovative plastics, catalysts and battery materials to enable automotive manufacturers to save weight and reduce emissions as well as improve safety. With the microcellular polyurethane elastomer Cellasto, BASF offers a tailor-made solution for reducing NVH effects (NVH: noise, vibration, harshness) in vehicles.

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. BASF had sales of over EUR74 billion in 2014 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year.