Solvay starts production of highly dispersible silica for energy saving tires in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay, the leading global supplier of specialty polymers, has launched the production of Highly Dispersible Silica (HDS) at its new state-of-the-art plant in Gunsan, South Korea, meeting strong and growing regional demand for energy saving tires, said the producer on its site.

The plant has an annual capacity of more than 80,000 tons in producing Solvay’s most advanced grades of HDS. This Solvay invention reinforces the rubber in tires and reduces a vehicle’s fuel consumption by as much as 7%. Moreover, HDS brands like Zeosil PREMIUM and Efficium help tire makers to raise performance levels for both car and truck tire compounds.

Solvay is upgrading its Silica production technologies with this new site, delivering innovative products to its customers in the region. The site will over time replace the one in Incheon, which is in an area designated for urban development.

"Solvay’s new site with its latest technology standards, further strengthens our supply security to our customers and our contribution to cleaner mobility," said An Nuyttens, President of Solvay’s Silica Global Business Unit. "Our global market reach and innovation capabilities close to and with our customers allow us to grow our silica applications in energy saving tires for both cars and trucks."

Solvay’s Silica GBU operates 10 sites across Europe, North and South America and Asia.

As MRC informed before, in May 2016, Solvay signed a definitive agreement with Brazilian chemical group Unipar Carbocloro to sell its 70.59% stake in Solvay Indupa. "Solvay’s divestment of Indupa follows our announced early exit of our European PVC joint venture as Solvay is transforming into a specialty chemicals group," said Vincent De Cuyper, member of Solvay’s Executive Committee. "In acquiring Solvay Indupa, Unipar will strengthen its strategic position in the caustic soda and chlorine value chain extending its chemical footprint in PVC and allowing for the further development of Indupa."

The transaction is based on a total enterprise value of USD 202.2 million, which shall be subject to customary adjustments. Completion of the transaction is subject to the customary closing conditions, including antitrust approval.

Created in 1948, PVC and caustic soda producer Solvay Indupa has 956 employees and two production sites in Brazil and Argentina. Indupa, with a manufacturing capacity of more than 500,000 tpa of PVC, runs facilities at Santo Andre, Brazil, and Bahia Blanca, Argentina.

Solvay, with a market share 27%, is the second largest PVC manufacturer in Europe, after Kerling with 29% of the market. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with about 30,900 employees spread across 53 countries.

INEOS acquires HDPE pipe producer WL Plastics

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS O&P USA has announced it has acquired 100% of the shares of WLP Holding Corp., one of the largest high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe manufacturers in North America, as per the company's press release.

The business is headquartered in Fort Worth, TX with production facilities in Kentucky, South Dakota, Utah, Texas, and Wyoming. A facility in Georgia is currently under construction.

With over 500 million pounds of annual production capacity, WL Plastics (WL) provides HDPE pipe to markets including oil, gas, industrial, mining, conduit, and municipal water and sewer. The company’s best-in-class manufacturing processes and experienced production personnel allow WL to be one of the most efficient producers of HDPE pipe. WL’s mission is to be the supplier of choice for its customers through an unwavering commitment to customer service, high quality control standards and speed to market.

Dennis Seith, CEO of INEOS O&P USA said, "We are very pleased to have acquired WL Plastics. The business is well-positioned to serve the growing North American pipe market and will complement INEOS’s existing portfolio of olefins and polymer products."

Mark Wason, CEO of WL Plastics said, "INEOS and WL are committed to safety, quality, manufacturing excellence and customer service. We believe ownership under INEOS will enable WL to strengthen our position in the market place through upstream integration backed by the resources of a global company enabling the next phase of WL Plastics growth."

The purchase price was not disclosed.

As MRC informed before, in early September 2016, Ineos Enterprises, a portfolio unit of the Swiss-based chemical group, purchased Calabrian Holdings from private equity firm SK Capital for an undisclosed sum. Based in Kingwood, Texas, Calabrian claims North American market leadership for liquid sulfur dioxide and sodium-based derivatives. It has a production plant in Port Neches, Texas, that supplies markets in North and South America, and another 35,000 t/y facility currently under construction in Timmins, Ontario, Canada. Once the latter starts up in the fourth quarter of 2016, total capacity for both plants will be around 200,000 t/y.

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.

Iran to expand Mahshahr Petrochemical Special Economic Zone

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iran is planning to develop Mahshahr Petrochemical Special Economic Zone (PETZONE), a petrochemical official said, reported The Iran Project.

Addressing a ceremony held to farewell Mahshahr PETZONE’s managing director and welcoming his replacement, Marziyeh Shahdaei, deputy petroleum minister in petrochemical affairs, said Mahshahr PETZONE has been designed in two phases and its second phase is planned to be developed.

The project will be carried out by National Petrochemical Company (NPC) as a state body responsible for providing the infrastructure needed for development of the petrochemical sector, she said.

She further added that studies are underway for preparation of the second phase of the zone that will be home to petrochemical plants aimed at completing the value chain in the region.

As MRC wrote before, as of 2015, number of active Iranian Petrochemical complexes were 53, with total production capacity of 59 million metric ton, producing range of polymers, chemicals, aromatics & liquid gas, located mainly at Iranian south region, next to Persian Gulf, called Assaluyeh and Mahshahr Special Economic Zones.

At the moment, there are 67 developments projects in the country which are under construction, adding 61 million metric ton on total production and estimated to fully run till 2018.

Clariant emphasizes support for China sustainable development needs

МОSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, gave center-stage to China’s sustainable development at its second Sustainability Dialog Summit, said the company in its press release.

Held in Shanghai, this year’s event underlined Clariant’s commitment to helping customers respond to the Megatrend-driven sustainability and innovation needs reflected in China’s New Normal and 13th Five-Year-Plan.

More than 200 Chinese customers, distributors, suppliers and authorities joined presentations, panel discussions and parallel sessions offering insights from Clariant specialists and external experts on China’s sustainability challenges and performance. With the government now actively influencing customers and markets towards more sustainable solutions, Clariant demonstrated its proactive support through products and services linked to three global Megatrends affecting the country and its manufacturing framework: Environmental Protection; Globalization & Urbanization; and Resources & Energy.

Senior management representatives presented innovative products addressing aspects such as the reduction of harmful industrial emissions, fertilizer production and crop protection solutions to sustainably safeguard world food supplies, options to convert agricultural residues into biofuels, and safe, environmentally-compatible fire protection for buildings.

Company-wide and specific local environmental and social responsibility initiatives to support the country’s progress were presented to the engaged audience. For example, regional availability of EcoTain products, Clariant’s portfolio screened against specific sustainability criteria, and the dedicated HOPES community program to promote education and sustainable development in China, which has benefitted more than 800 young people to date.

The company’s high level of commitment to supporting its Chinese customers is reflected in the recent relocation to China of Executive Committee Member Christian Kohlpaintner. As part of his responsibilities, Kohlpaintner is steering the project team behind Clariant’s One Clariant Campus in Shanghai, an integrated facility with Regional Headquarters and a new regional R&D center, scheduled for completion in Q1 2019.

As MRC informed earlier, Clariant plans to invest approximately CHF 10 mln - a global initiative to expand its ability to produce color and additive masterbatches and compounds using engineering polymers and high-temperature plastics like PEEK (polyether ether ketone) is progressing on schedule.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.

PPG to buy Romania DEUTEK

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PPG announced that it has reached an agreement with the Emerging Europe Accession Fund (EEAF) to acquire DEUTEK S.A., a leading Romanian paint and architectural coatings manufacturer, said the producer.

PPG expects the transaction to close in the first quarter 2017, following the receipt of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DEUTEK, established in 1993, manufactures and markets a large portfolio of well-known professional and consumer paint brands, including OSKAR and Danke!. The company’s products are sold in more than 120 do-it-yourself stores and 3,500 independent retail outlets in Romania. DEUTEK, which is currently owned by EEAF, reported sales of 30 million euros in 2015.

"DEUTEK is a well-managed business with a long heritage of excellent customer service and a portfolio of leading, well-recognized brands in Romania," said Jean-Marie Greindl, PPG senior vice president, global architectural coatings, and president, PPG Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). "The acquisition adds the fastest-growing paint brands in Romania, where PPG has only a small presence in architectural coatings."

As MRC informed earlier, in 2015 PPG Industries agreed to acquire US-based IVC Industrial Coatings for an undisclosed amount. The company operates five manufacturing facilitates in the US, one plant in Guangdong, China, and a small development lab in Manchester, England. It has a workforce of over 300.

PPG Industries, Inc. (PPG) is a global supplier of protective and decorative coatings. Performance Coatings, Industrial Coatings and Architectural Coatings- EMEA segments supply protective and decorative finishes for customers in a range of end use markets, including industrial equipment, appliances and packaging; factory-finished aluminum extrusions and steel and aluminum. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in nearly 70 countries around the world. Reported net sales in 2014 were USD15.4 billion.