BASF inaugurates new PU flooring facilities in Malaysia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has celebrated the inauguration of its new facilities for the production of Ucrete in Bukit Raja, Klang/Malaysia. It is the first manufacturing hub in Asia Pacific to produce all components of Ucrete, said the producer on its site.

Lumpur/Malaysia – The Ucrete production facilities are the first that can produce all four components of the Ucrete polyurethane concrete flooring system in Asia Pacific. BASF has a similar plant in the United Kingdom. Located within the company’s Construction Chemicals manufacturing plant in Bukit Raja Industrial Park in Selangor, Malaysia, the new facilities benefit from global experience and proven technologies, operational efficiency and technical competencies, the company said.

Ucrete is a polyurethane resin technology that gives floors resistance to aggressive chemicals, as well as mechanical and thermal conditions. It is ideal for the most demanding industrial environments, non-tainting and fully serviceable at temperatures up to 120?°C at 9?mm thickness.

As MRC reported earlier, Kolon Plastics and BASF has signed an agreement to establish a joint venture in Korea to manufacture polyoxymethylene (POM), an engineering plastic used in industrial, transportation, construction and consumer markets. The 50:50 joint venture named "Kolon BASF innoPOM, Inc." will have an annual capacity of 70,000 metric tons. It will be located at the existing manufacturing site of Kolon Plastics in Gimcheon, Korea, which already includes a POM production.

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 generated sales of more than EUR70 billion in 2015.

Chandra Asri Petrochemical reports rise in profits on improved margins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chandra Asri Petrochemical (Jakarta), the largest integrated petrochemical company in Indonesia, reports a 42.4% increase in net profits for the full year 2015 compared with 2014, to USD26.3 million, said Thejakartapost.

Full year sales in 2015 decreased to USD1.37 billion, however, compared with USD2.46 billion in 2014, largely due to lower sales volumes as a result of a planned 85-day shutdown at the company's naphtha cracker operations at Cilegon, Indonesia. However, the gross profit margin jumped to 10.6 percent from 4.8 percent, thanks to stronger product margins and low costs of raw materials in line with low global oil prices.

In December 2015, Chandra Asri completed its cracker expansion mechanics and TAM on time, which could boost ethylene and its by-products output by about 40 percent. In June 2015, the company formed a joint venture with Compagnie Financiere du Groupe Michelin to construct a synthetic rubber plant through PT Synthetic Rubber Indonesia in Cilegon, Banten, with a production capacity of 120,000 tons per year when it starts operations, which it is expected to do in early 2018.

As MRC informed earlier, Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) is planning to build a naphtha refinery at its Cilegon complex in Banten, Indonesia, with an estimated investment of USD740m.

Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) is the largest vertically integrated petrochemical company in Indonesia with facilities located in Ciwandan, Cilegon and Puloampel, Serang in Banten Province. CAP is Indonesia's premier petrochemical plant incorporating world-class, state-of-the-art technology and supporting facilities. At the heart of CAP lies the Lummus Naphtha Cracker producing high quality Ethylene, Propylene, Mixed C4, and Pyrolysis Gasoline (Py-Gas) for the Indonesian as well as regional export markets.

Trinseo raises April PC prices in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe has announced a price increase for natural polycarbonate (PC), said the producer on its site.

Effective April 1, 2016, or as existing contract terms allow, the company will increase the selling price of PC as follows:

- CALIBRE polycarbonate resins - by EUR100/tonne.

We remind that, as MRC informed previously, last time Styron increased its PC prices in Europe, starting from 1 June, 2015. The rise of the company's contract and spot prices of natural PC was, as follows:

- CALIBRE polycarbonate resins - by EUR430/tonne.

That price increase was in response to escalating costs of key raw materials used in the PC production and aimed to restore balance to polycarbonate supply and demand globally.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. 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. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo is completing its renaming process in 1Q 2015. Trinseo had approximately USD4.0 billion in revenue in 2015, with 18 manufacturing sites around the world, and more than 2,200 employees.

INEOS prepares mothballed UK ethane cracker for US shale feedstocks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The second manufacturing unit at Grangemouth’s KG ethylene plant is brought back to life eight years after being mothballed, said Hydrocarbonprocessing, citing INEOS's officials.

INEOS says it recently completed successful operational trials as it prepares to receive shale gas ethane from the US as petrochemical feedstock. "We are now in great shape to receive shale gas from the US and to finally run the Grangemouth plant at full rate," said Gordon Milne, operations director at INEOS Grangemouth. "When US shale gas finally arrives here in the autumn, this plant will move into the premier league of European petrochemical plants. Bringing the site back into profitability is the best way to secure our future here in Scotland."

Specifically, INEOS confirmed that it has completed successful operational trials on the second manufacturing unit (Train 2) of its gas cracker at Grangemouth, eight years after being mothballed. Train 2 has undergone rigorous recommissioning trials to prepare for the arrival of US shale gas ethane, the company said. The first deliveries of US shale gas are expected to arrive by ship at Grangemouth in the fall of this year.

In 2008, the KG ethylene cracker was unable to operate at full capacity, and INEOS was left with no option but to close the second manufacturing unit. The US ethane will be used as a supplementary feed for the KG ethylene plant at a time when North Sea supplies are dwindling. It will also allow the plant to run at increased rates.

The INEOS investment should bring US shale gas economics to Europe, the company says. The project includes contracts to acquire gas from the Marcellus Shale in Western Pennsylvania; connection to the new, 300-mile Mariner East pipeline to bring the gas to the Marcus Hook deep water terminal near Philadelphia; the design and commissioning of eight Dragon-class ships that will create a virtual pipeline across the Atlantic; and the construction of a new import terminal, including the biggest shale gas storage tank in Europe at Grangemouth.

The new import terminal at Grangemouth will also benefit the Fife ethylene plant in Mossmorran, Scotland, after it was announced that the owners of the plant had agreed a long-term sale and purchase agreement to secure ethane from mid-2017.

Access to this new source of feedstock will help complement supplies from North Sea natural gas fields, the company says. The agreement should also ensure the competitiveness of an additional major manufacturing facility in Scotland and help secure skilled jobs over the long-haul.

As MRC informed earlier, a few day later INEOS confirmed that its vessel, the INEOS Intrepid, has arrived at the INEOS petrochemicals plant at Rafnes in Norway, carrying 27.500m3 of US shale gas ethane.

INEOS Group Limited is a privately owned multinational chemicals company consisting of 15 standalone business units, headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and with its registered office in Lyndhurst, United Kingdom. It is the fourth largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues (after BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell) and the largest privately owned company in the United Kingdom.

Kemira to expand sodium chlorate production capacity in Joutseno, Finland

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kemira, a Finland based chemical company, is planning to build a new sodium chlorate production line and cell-room at its facility located at Joutseno, said Chemicals-technology.

As part of its growth strategy, the company plans to invest around EUR50m to EUR60m in the proposed expansion. Following the approval of certain regulatory requirements, construction of the planned facility is expected to begin by June this year, and the company's own technology will be used to increase the Joutseno site's existing capacity.

"The consumption of bleaching chemicals is increasing due to the recent pulp mill expansions and the announced greenfield projects in the Nordics." Expected to be operational by the last quarter of the next year, the new facility will provide employment to around 200 persons indirectly during construction.

Sodium chlorate is the raw material for chlorine dioxide (ClO2), which is made on-site at the pulp mills and is used as the primary bleaching agent for kraft pulp.

Kemira pulp and paper segment president Kim Poulsen said: "The consumption of bleaching chemicals is increasing due to the recent pulp mill expansions and the announced greenfield projects in the Nordics. "We want to invest in our sodium chlorate capacity to ensure our ability to effectively serve our customers. "This investment supports our strategy to grow faster than the market and to strengthen Kemira's position as the leading chemical supplier for the pulp and paper industry."

Currently, the company's Joutseno site is employing 67 people, and produces several chemicals for the pulp and paper industry. In 2014, the company made an investment at its plant located in Oulu, Finland to expand its presence in the tough bleaching chemical market.

The company currently has various bleaching chemical production units in Europe, inlcuding Aetsa, Joutseno and Oulu in Finland; Helsingborg in Sweden; and Europoort in the Netherlands.

As MRC informed earlier, Kemira has acquired certain assets of Polymer Services, LLC, a privately owned company, headquartered in Plainville, Kansas.

Kemira is a chemical industry group that consists of three main segments. Kemira is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. Kemira became the world's biggest provider of the pulp and paper chemicals after its acquisition of the pulp and paper chemical operations of Lanxess.