Arkema to acquire businesses of Total's Specialty Chemicals

(Plastemart) -- Arkema has announced plans to acquire the Coatings Resins (Cray Valley and Cook Composite Polymers) and Photocure Resins (Sartomer) businesses of Total's Specialty Chemicals activities for a ┬550mln enterprise value. The buy would establish Arkema as a leader in the global coatings resins market. It would further increase the downstream integration of its acrylics chain, while offering major potential for growth and synergies.

The businesses concerned by the project comprise the coatings resins (paints, adhesives, etc.) of Cray Valley (Europe, Asia, South Africa) and Cook Composite Polymers (United States), as well as the photocure resins of Sartomer (Europe, United States, Asia). These make up a coherent group of specialty products used in the high value-added paints and industrial coatings markets.

With a wider product range (emulsions, photocure resins, rheology additives, alkyd resins, powder resins, fluorinated polymers and copolymers, etc.), Arkema would be in a position to serve its customers throughout the world as one of the world's leading material suppliers to the Coatings market.


Largest LANXESS investment in China

(LANXESS) -- German specialty chemicals group LANXESS has taken another step on its expansion course in China. The company will invest about EUR 30 million in a plant for leather chemicals to be built in Changzhou, Jiangsu province, China. This is the single largest investment by the company's Leather Chemicals business unit to date in China. Approximately 150 new jobs will be created through this investment.

The facility, with an annual capacity of up to 50,000 metric tons, will be located at the Changzhou Yangtze Riverside Industrial Park. It is planned to go on stream by the first half of 2013 and will produce premium LANXESS leather chemicals for the local Chinese market such as Tanigan, Isoderm, Euderm and Levotan for various applications like leather tanning, dyeing and finishing.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 5.06 billion in 2009 and currently around 14,500 employees in 23 countries. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.


US Dec propylene will cost additional 3 cents/lb

(ICIS) -- US propylene contracts for December were fully settled at an increase of 3.00 cents/lb ($66/tonne, ┬50/tonne), market sources said on Wednesday, lifted by tight supply following a series of cracker and refinery outages.

The 5% increase from November puts chemical-grade propylene (CGP) contracts in December at 59.00 cents/lb and polymer-grade propylene (PGP) at 60.50 cents/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

US propylene producers had originally nominated increases of 3.00 and 3.50 cents/lb for this month. A full-market agreement at plus 3.00 cents/lb was widely expected, even though one producer at first had not agreed to the increase and was holding out for a higher price.

Limited supply and rising refinery-grade propylene (RGP) spot prices in November were among the factors supporting higher contract prices in December, according to sources.

Major US producers of PGP and CGP include Chevron Phillips Chemical, Enterprise Products, ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell, Petrologistics and Shell Chemical. Main buyers include Dow Chemical, INEOS, Ascend Performance Materials and Total.


GCC petrochemical producers optimistic about achieving good netbacks in 2011

(ICIS) -- Petrochemical producers from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region are cautiously optimistic about achieving good netbacks in 2011, they said on Thursday, supported by strong demand in emerging markets such as China, India and South America.

"While petrochemical demand in the developed world is not expected to grow at a spectacular pace, emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil are showing exponential demand growth, above GDP levels," said a senior executive with a leading Saudi Arabian petrochemical company.

The executive, who wished not to be identified, was speaking with ICIS on the sidelines of the 5th Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) forum being held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

GDP growth in China and India was expected to cross 9% and 8% respectively in 2010, and petrochemical demand growth was set to grow at an even higher pace, another GCC producer said.

Similar sentiments were expressed by the American Chemistry Council's chief economist, Kevin Swift, who said in New York this month that during the next two years, the most rapid growth would occur in the emerging nations, most notably in China, India and Brazil, while South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan would present good growth prospects through 2012.


Investment in injection molding equipment grew by 20%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Over the ten months the Russian converters invested about $83 mln in injection molding equipment which is 20% more than investments over whole 2009, according to MRC Annual reports.

In the structure of investments over the mentioned period about a quarter of all capital ($19 mln) was spent for increase in powers of molded packaging sector. Leaders among converters investing in molded packaging sector are iPlast (Nizhnekamsk) and Europlast (Solnechnogorsk).

Decreased investment activity in 2010 in comparison to last year is marked in the following processing sector: electrical goods (24%), household goods (10%).

The most considerable decrease in investment is marked in the sector of car components production where in 2010 almost $4 mln was spent for equipment which is 2,5 as little as in in 2009.

According to MRC analysts estimates, by the end of 2010 investment in injection molding equipment may exceed $85 mln, mostly at the expense of packaging sector development.

More detailed analysis of polymers processing and consumption volumes by sectors, markets and types of finished products for each converter is presented in the Annual reports by MRC.