Wacker unveils new electrically conductive silicone rubber dispersion for the cable industry

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker, the Munich-based chemical group, will present a novel electrically conductive silicone rubber dispersion at the 20th International Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber K 2016, said the producer on its site.

POWERSIL 403 has been developed for manufacturing the outer conductive film on cable accessories for transmission and distribution cables. The product yields a conductive coating characterized by high elasticity, good mechanical properties and scrub resistance. This makes the dispersion suitable even for cable fittings to be installed via cold-shrink processes. The product contains no aromatic compounds such as toluene. K 2016 will take place in Dusseldorf, Germany, from October 19 to 26, 2016.

Wacker’s new POWERSIL 403 silicone rubber dispersion helps make sleeves for transmission and distribution cables safe to operate for long periods of time. The dispersion, which contains no aromatics, forms a conductive film on the insulating silicone, protecting the material from electrostatic charging. POWERSIL 403 is flexible and resists abrasion. Sleeves that have been coated in this way can be shipped in their extended state and installed on cable connectors on site using cold-shrink processes.

In the transmission and distribution industry, cable joints and connectors are coated on the outside with an electrically conductive material. The purpose of this conductive film is to minimize the electric load on the insulating layer and, in so doing, ensure that the fittings can be operated safely for long periods of time. The conductive material is applied in a thin layer as a liquid dispersion, after which it cures to form a solid material. Cable accessories used in the transmission and distribution industry include cable joints and terminations.

The new POWERSIL 403 silicone rubber dispersion likewise forms this kind of electrically conductive film. The two-component formulation contains addition-curing silicone rubber, which adheres well to the insulating silicone substrate while forming a flexible film. Elongation at break is roughly 650 percent for this formulation, and its tear strength is 20 newtons per millimeter. This means that a conductive film made from POWERSIL 403 can withstand extreme elongation - without cracking - such as occurs during the production and installation of cable accessories suitable for cold-shrink processes.

The product also meets increasingly frequent demands for formulations that contain no aromatics and, as such, are more user friendly. POWERSIL 403 is free of aromatic solvents such as toluene. The low-viscosity liquid can be easily applied by spraying, dipping or brushing. Its electrical properties also make the dispersion suitable for use in antistatic coatings for textiles.

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, in 2013, Wacker Chemie AG officially launched its new production plant for ethylene-vinyl-acetate copolymer (EVA) dispersions at its Ulsan site in South Korea. The additional 40,000 tonnes from the second reactor line increased the site's EVA-dispersion capacity to a total of 90,000 tonnes per year. The production capacity of the site had, thus, almost doubled, making the plant complex one of the biggest of its kind in South Korea.

Wacker Chemie AG is a worldwide operating company in the chemical business, founded 1914. The company is controlled by the Wacker-family holding more than 50 percent of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The product range includes silicone rubbers, polymer products like ethylene vinyl acetate redispersible polymer powder, chemical materials, polysilicon and wafers for semiconductor industry.

Dow Bahia Blanca LDPE line expected to restart in December

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow's low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant in Argentina might resume operations in December, 13 months after an explosion shut the 90,000 mt/year capacity line in Bahia Blanca, as per Apic-online with reference to sources in the Mercosur region.

"I've heard that the damage was big and due to that the plant will not be back before December," a Brazil-based distributor said.

"I also heard that they are doing an economic evaluation of whether it is worth resuming operations or closing it definitively," the Brazil-based distributor said.

LDPE production has been suspended since the November 3, 2015 blast.

Dow was not available for comment Tuesday, but initially, Dow said the line would resume operations in June.

However, last week a source close to the company said the plant might not resume operations before the end of 2016.

Dow Argentina operates two ethane-fed steam crackers and polyethylene production at its Bahia Blanca petrochemical complex. The site has an ethylene production capacity estimated at 765,000 mt/year.

Meanwhile, low-density polyethylene import availability in Latin America remains tight not just regionally but also globally. "From March to May we saw around 164 mt of LDPE and (high density polyethylene) imported from the US. From Argentina, we've gotten just two trucks of (linear low density polyethylene) and HDPE," a Paraguay-based distributor said Tuesday.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene (PP), and synthetic rubber. The company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 36 countries across the globe.

Trinseo announces USD100 mln share repurchase program

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, has announced that its Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to USD100 million of the company’s ordinary shares, as per the company's press release.

Trinseo’s previous share repurchase program was completed in the second quarter of 2016 with the repurchase of about 752,000 shares through open market purchases.

Trinseo President and CEO, Chris Pappas stated, "This share repurchase program underscores our confidence in the Company's business portfolio and cash generation. Given the confidence in our outlook, this program represents both an effective use of our capital as well as an efficient way to return capital to our shareholders."

Under the program, shares may be repurchased periodically in open market transactions at prevailing market prices in accordance with federal securities laws. The actual timing, number and value of shares repurchased under the program will be determined by management at its discretion and will depend on a number of factors, including the market price of Trinseo’s ordinary shares, general market and economic conditions, applicable legal requirements, and other business considerations. Repurchased shares will become treasury shares and may be utilized for general corporate purposes, including reissuance pursuant to Trinseo’s equity-based incentive plan, unless subsequently retired in whole or in part at a meeting of our shareholders. The share repurchase program does not obligate the Company to acquire any particular amount of its ordinary shares, and it may be suspended or terminated at any time in the company’s discretion.

As MRC reported earlier, in May 2016, Trinseo and its affiliate companies in Europe increased prices of all polystyrene (PS), ABS and SAN grades. Thus, the May contract and spot prices for the products listed below rose as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS), STYRON and STYRON A-TECH high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR25 per metric ton;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR35 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR20 per metric ton.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. TrinseoпїЅs 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 completed 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.

Pemex shuts catalytic plant at top refinery on power outage

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex said that it has ordered a "preventative shut down" of the catalytic unit at its Salina Cruz refinery due to a power interruption that caused smoke to be detected at the unit, said Reuters.

The electric supply interruption forced the company to shut down the catalytic unit, but other parts of the refinery continue to operate normally, a company spokesperson said.

The catalytic plant is one of the refinery's main production units used to separate crude oil into lighter petroleum products like gasoline.

The Salina Cruz facility, located in southern Oaxaca state, is Pemex's largest domestic refinery with a capacity to process 330 Mbpd.

As MRC informed earlier, in April 2016, a massive explosion rocked Pemex in the Gulf state of Veracruz on Wednesday, killing at least three people, injuring dozens more, and pumping a cloud of noxious chemicals into the sky. Three people had died in the blast and as many as 45 were injured.

Pemex, Mexican Petroleum, is a Mexican state-owned petroleum company. Pemex has a total asset worth of USD415.75 billion, and is the world's second largest non-publicly listed company by total market value, and Latin America's second largest enterprise by annual revenue as of 2009. Company produces such polymers, as polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene.

Dow Chemical to cut 2,500 jobs as part of Dow Corning deal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow Chemical Co. said it would lay off about 2,500 employees globally, or about 4% of its workforce, as part of a deal to assume full control of Dow Corning, which was a joint venture with Gorilla glass maker Corning Inc, said Reuters.

The seeds and chemical maker said it would also shut down silicones manufacturing facilities in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Yamakita, Japan, as well as certain administrative, corporate and manufacturing facilities.

Formed in 1943, Dow Corning produces silicon-based products for aerospace, automotive and electrical industries. Dow Chemical announced the deal for Dow Corning in December, when it also said it would merge with DuPont in an all-stock deal, which then valued the combined company at USD130 B.

Dow Chemical raised its annual cost savings estimate for the deal to USD400 M from USD300 M. The company said it was also targeting USD100 M in growth synergies.

Dow Chemical said the actions announced would position the company to achieve its cost synergy target run rate of 70 % within 12 months of closing the deal, and 100 % within 24 months.

The deal is expected to add to Dow Chemical's operating earnings per share, cash flow from operations and free cash flow in the first full year after close.

Dow Chemical said it would take a charge of about USD410 M to USD460 M in the second quarter for asset impairments, severance and other costs.

As MRC informed earlier, in December 2015, Dow Chemical announced that it will become the 100% owner of Dow Corning, which is currently a 50-50 joint venture with Corning.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. As of 2007, it is the second-largest chemical manufacturer in the world by revenue (after BASF) and as of February 2009, the third-largest chemical company in the world by market capitalization (after BASF and DuPont). Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.