PolymaxTPE introduces new low CS TPEs for sealing applications

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PolymaxTPE has added two new styrenic TPE grades for gasket and seals applications to its portfolio, reported GV.

The grades, P32-010 and P32-011, can replace TPV elastomers in a variety of applications that include gaskets, seals, valves, home appliance, and food packaging requiring high resilience for seal integrity.

PolymaxTPE says that the grades stand out for their low compression set at elevated temperatures. According to the company, measurements show that the compression set of the P32-011 TPE (60 Shore A) has 16% at RT, 26% at 70 C and 38% at 100 C for 22 h. P31-010 (40 Shore A) has 20% compression set at RT, 27% at 70 C and 48% at 100 C.

Further advantages of the new grades are their good tear strength, cold temperature flexibility, low odour, stability at high temperature, and weather resistance. The raw materials used to manufacture these two grades are compliant with food contact regulations. These materials can be used in stand-alone injection moulding and extrusion applications, or bonded with polypropylene substrates.

"The development of new TPEs with low compression set for the seal industry reflects the focus of PolymaxTPE on R+D and its strategy of working proactively with customers", noted Dr. Martin Lu, CTO of PolymaxTPE.

"Thanks to their improved tear strength and easy processability, our recent commercialization successes of 35 and 45 shore A hardness TPE, D6935 & D6945, with low compression set has been well received by our customers in replacing TPV in weatherseals. The new addition of P32-010 and P32-011 will continue to provide a low-cost alternative to TPV in gaskets, stoppers, flexible connectors, and sealing for food, beverage caps + closures requiring durable sealing performance," added Tom Castile, VP sales of PolymaxTPE.

PolymaxTPE has a full-service facility in Waukegan, near Chicago, IL, USA. Sister company, Nantong Polymax, is one of the leading TPE manufacturers in China. The company’s products are marketed under the PolymaxTPE and Maxelast brands.

We remind that, as MRC informed before, in December 2015, Teknor Apex expanded its "polymer-neutral" product by developing styrenic TPEs with alternative cost and performance profiles to those of TPVs in automotive exterior application. The Sarlink ME-2200 series exhibit higher flow than comparable TPVs, enabling molders of exterior components such as gaskets, seals, and trim to process complex, intricate designs while shortening cycles through reduced packing and cooling time. In applications where TPV compounds are over-engineered, these compounds can provide a cost savings while still meeting the performance requirements of the part. Like TPVs, the compounds are less dense than EPDM and PVC, yielding weight savings of up to 15 and 23 %, respectively.

Petkim reports H1 production rises 64%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall production by Turkish petrochemical producer Petkim reached 1.638 million mt over the first half of 2016, up 6.4% on the year, as per the company's report, said Apic-online.

Total product sales over the same period were reported as 935,700 mt, up 14.4%.

Capacity usage at Petkim's sole production facility at Aliaga was 94.02% up from 86.85% over the first half of 2015.

The plant has a total production capacity of 3.6 million mt/year, the company said.

No other production or sales data was released.

Over the past month there have been a number of senior personnel changes at the former state petrochemical producer which is now majority owned by Azerbaijani state oil company Socar, with Turkey's state news agency Anatolia reporting as many as 231 staff arrested or alleged connections to the group blamed for the failed military coup in Turkey on July 15. Those reported as having been arrested include CEO Saadetin Korkut who was replaced by Anar Mammadov, formerly the CEO of Socar's Greek subsidiary and before that the CEO of Socar's Georgian subsidiary, deputy CEO Muhammet Altay Ozgur, corporate communications manager Memduh Taslicali, and the company's head of security retired colonel Serhat Ozmilli.

Petkim's parent company Socar Turkey has confirmed only 27 staff as having been removed and that production and operations at the company's Aliaga plant have not been affected.

As MRC informed before, in late July 2016, Petkim petrochemical complex declared force majeure on ethylene and propylene supply. A cracker in Aliagha district had to be shutdown due to technical failure on July 17. The cracker was closed until late July. Cracker capacity is pegged at 588,000 tpa of ethylene and 271,000 tpa of propylene.
The cracker’s closing led to disruptions in the supply of raw materials for the production of derivatives, including acrylonitrile and ethylene glycol. The force-maujeure was lifted in early August.

Petkim is a sole manufacturer of plastic packages, fabrics, detergents, and other petrochemical products in Turkey. By the end of 2015 Petkim’s assets increased by 44% as compared to 2014. Its net profit stood at 639.2 million liras in 2015. According to shareholder information published by the Istanbul stock exchange (BIST) Petkim is 51.39% owned by Socar with 7.68% owned by Goldman Sachs International and 40.93% traded on the BIST.

SOCAR Polymer is a subsidiary of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). The entity was formed at the end of 2013 to run investments at the Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park, a production park which intends to become a chemical hub in central Asia.

Emery Oleochemicals opens new application lab for its green polymer additives business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Emery Oleochemicals, the world’s leading natural-based chemicals producer and largest oleochemicals manufacturer in North America, has announced the completion of its new 7,500 square foot Technical Development Center (TDC), reported GV.

This center will now also serve as the state-of-the-art application lab for the company’s Green Polymer Additives Business to offer renewable and innovative polymer additive solutions to high growth markets such as automotive, building and construction, electronics, packaging as well as toys and sports equipment.

The new application lab in Cincinnati, Ohio, provides Emery Oleochemicals’ Green Polymer Additives (GPA) customers with regional value-added services through its dedicated Application Testing and enhances the Emery Oleochemicals’ Global Technical Development Center capabilities in Loxstedt, Germany, which opened in 2013.

As MRC informed previously, in 2012, Emery Oleochemicals celebrated the groundbreaking of its Loxstedt manufacturing facility expansion and construction of the Technical Development Centre (TDC). The company announced plans to make its largest investment of approx. EUR20 million (USD25million) in the project, reinforcing its significance to the company's global strategy of becoming a key player in the green polymer additives segment.

Dr. Harald Klein, Global Business Director, Green Polymer Additive Business said: “Our lab housed in the TDC in Cincinnati is specifically designed to leverage our in–depth application knowledge of polymer processes and technical capabilities to deliver customizable market–ready solutions to the North American Market. By providing our customers with the latest innovations, we aim to be an instrumental partner in the development of polymer additives that are sustainable, environmentally friendly and exceed the requirements in today’s polymer industry.“

Joint press release of Engie, Gazprom, OMV, Shell, Uniper, Wintershall and Nord Stream 2 AG

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Engie, Gazprom, OMV, Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall (the applicants) submitted their joint response to the Statement of Objections of the Polish competition authority in the merger control proceedings regarding the planned creation of a joint venture among the applicants, said Coatingsworld.

Following that, the applicants have decided to jointly withdraw their merger control notification from the Polish competition authority. All the applicants believe that the project is crucial for the European energy system and each of them will therefore individually contemplate alternative ways to contribute to it. The applicants’ decision to withdraw the notification will not affect the continuation by Nord Stream 2 AG of the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipelines as planned, including its scheduling.

As MRC informed before, on 1 April 2016, Russian oil major Gazprom signed cooperation deals with Austrian energy group OMV as it tries to secure more lobbying power for its project to expand the Europe-bound undersea gas pipeline, Nord Stream. A preliminary asset swap deal was agreed in September 2015. Under the deal, OMV will acquire a 24.98% of areas IV and V of the Achimov formation of the Urengoy oil and gas field in Siberia.

Idemitsu defends Showa Shell merger opposed by founding family

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan's Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. has defended its planned merger with smaller rival oil refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu KK, in the face of opposition from the founding Idemitsu family, as per Reuters.

Idemitsu said in a statement that the company's board confirmed Monday that the merger agreement followed appropriate procedures and there was no plan for now to change the schedule of the merger, planned for next April.

Last week, the founding family made a fresh call on management to give up its merger plan.

The family, which owns 33.92% of Idemitsu Kosan and is led by 89-year-old patriarch Shosuke Idemitsu, has said the two companies are too different for any merger to work. Earlier this month, it upped the ante in its opposition by buying a small stake in Showa Shell to block the process.

"The board meeting confirmed we will continue to seek a resumption of discussions with large shareholders, from the perspective of securing mutual benefits for all stakeholders, and work toward an early resolution," Idemitsu said in a statement.

The refiner has said its planned takeover of Showa Shell, which would create Japan's second-biggest refiner by capacity, is necessary to cope with lower demand.

Idemitsu agreed in July 2015 to the private purchase of Royal Dutch Shell PLC's 33.2% stake in Showa Shell for USD1.7 B, more than a third higher than its current value. Idemitsu then agreed in November to work towards a full merger with Showa Shell, now slated for April 2017, as MRC informed before.

But the founding family bought a 0.1% stake in Showa Shell, sufficient to complicate any takeover as it raises the prospect that Idemitsu would, contrary to current plans, have to make an expensive tender offer for Showa Shell shares.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

Idemitsu Kosan is a Japanese petroleum company. It owns and operates oil platforms, refineries and produces and sells petroleum, oils and petrochemical products. The company runs two petrochemical plants in Chiba and Tokuyama. The two naphtha crackers can produce up to 997,000 tonnes of ethylene per year.