Arkema announces a price increase for its technical polymers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Effective December 12, 2016, or as existing contracts permit, Arkema is increasing by 4 to 8% the prices of its Technical Polymers product ranges, said the producer on its site.

The amount of the increase will vary across products and across regions as far as currencies are concerned. This price increase is due to ongoing escalation in raw material costs, as well as the investments that Arkema continues to make in R&D, compliance and capacity expansion to accompany its customers growth.

The product families affected by this price increase are Fluoropolymers and Specialty Polyamides.

As one of the major producers of technical polymers, Arkema brings innovative and value-added solutions tailored to individual customers’ needs. Arkema’s Technical Polymers offering includes a complete range of high-performance polyamides and fluoropolymers specifically developed for the automotive, industrial, healthcare, consumer goods, construction and renewable energies markets.

With major global brands like Kynar, Pebax and Rilsan, Arkema’s Technical Polymers business unit stands out in the industry by providing its customers with global supply and tailored regional service from production facilities and research centers in Europe, Asia, and the USA.

As MRC informed before, in June 2016, Bostik, the specialty adhesives business line of Arkema, expanded its cementitious products manufacturing capacities, based on its world-class Polymer Modified Binder (PMB) technology, at its Seremban plant in Malaysia.

Arkema is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc.

BASF to offer tailor-made product innovation

MOSCOW (MRC) -- At the European Coatings Show 2017 (ECS), which is going to take place in Nuremberg from April 4 to 6, BASF experts and specialists from BTC, the distribution organization of BASF, will present new raw materials for the coatings, paint and construction industries, as per the company's press release.

The broad range of products offered by BASF includes dispersions, resins, formulation additives, light stabilizers, antioxidants, pigments, hardeners, cross-linking agents, reactive diluents and solvents.

The new water-based Acronal PRO 7600 acrylic dispersion provides light to medium corrosion protection (categories C2 to C3) for industrial metal coatings. The binder offers an environmentally compatible drop-in solution that does not contain APEO and replaces Acronal PRO 760, the current market standard. Acronal PRO 7600 can be used for all current applications such as airless, brush, roll or dip.

Self-flowing mortars help to save time and money at building sites. The powdery Melflux superplasticizers and stabilizers from the Starvis range of BASF that are used for floor screeds and self-leveling underlayments exhibit very good flow behavior and perfectly stabilize mineral particles. Starvis prevents unwanted effects such as sedimentation or bleeding. Starvis-based mortar products are particularly robust when it comes to water and raw material fluctuations: They greatly improve the quality of floor constructions and help to avoid complaints at construction sites. Since Starvis products can be combined with Melflux superplasticizers, they enable a rheology profile that is individually geared towards customer requirements.

With the Acronal 6292 dispersion, paint manufacturers are enabled to produce sophisticated interior paints with highest wet scrub resistance at competitive prices. The water-based styrene-acrylate binder is a high-quality alternative to the conventional technologies and facilitates the formulation of environmentally compatible interior paints: Acronal 6292 is a low-odor product that neither contains ammonia nor coalescents.

Foam formation is a common problem occurring during production and processing of paints and coatings. To avoid such problems, BASF has added a new defoamer to its range of formulation additives that is based on organo-modified polysiloxanes - the FoamStar SI 2240. Apart from its strong defoaming effect, FoamStar SI 2240 shows broad compatibility with different binder systems and excellent long-term stability and efficiency. FoamStar SI 2240 is registered worldwide and can, among other applications, be used in water-based architectural coatings, industrial coatings and paints as well as in pigment concentrates. In addition, FoamStar SI 2240 complies with specific FDA and EU requirements for food contact and is therefore suited for printing and packaging applications.

With the launch of kaolin-based Mattex PRO, BASF continues to develop new technology with focus on sustainability. Mattex PRO enables paint formulators to eliminate flatting agents and crystalline silica containing minerals while simultaneously providing simpler formulations and the same high-performance results with less TiO2.

"We look forward to using the ECS trade fair to present various innovative solutions aimed at current market challenges that will enable our customers to improve their competitiveness," says Christoph Hansen, head of the Dispersions & Resins Europe business unit. BASF offers the broadest global range of raw materials for the formulation of coatings and paints in the field of architectural coatings, construction, automotive, industrial coatings, furniture and flooring as well as raw materials for powder coating resins.

As MRC informed before, in mid-February 2016, AkzoNobel, the leading global producer of paints and coatings, said it is in discussions with BASF to acquire BASF’s industrial coatings business. BASF confirmed that it is in discussions with AkzoNobel on the potential sale, but also declined to give further information. BASF is relatively small in industrial coatings. Its main coatings sectors are automotive and consumer. Industrial coatings are lumped under others, which in 2014 had sales of about EUR240 million, or 8% of coatings sales of EUR2.98 billion.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It 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.

Shell completes project to increase production at Canada refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell announced it has completed a major growth project at its Scotford Refinery near Edmonton, Alberta that will increase hydrocracker production capacity by 20%, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The project was completed through the debottlenecking of the hydrocracker, a core refining unit for making transportation fuels, such as diesel and jet fuel. The debottlenecking process replaces vessels, compressors and feed pumps to allow a greater volume of heavy crude oil to be processed.

"The completion of this upgrade will enhance the performance and competitiveness of Scotford’s integrated operations, which helps secure our position as an industry leader in this important region," said Lori Ryerkerk, Executive Vice President for Shell’s global Manufacturing business. "This investment, in combination with other recent strategic investments, is a clear demonstration of Shell’s ongoing commitment to our refining and chemicals portfolio."

The project will equate to a 14,000-bpd increase in the unit’s production and enable Scotford, one of North America’s most efficient and modern refineries, to deliver more high-quality diesel, jet fuel, and gasoline to customers.

An integrated site with a bitumen upgrader, oil refinery, chemical plant and carbon-capture-and-storage unit, Scotford produces a full range of products for the Western Canadian market.

The project received a final investment decision in January 2015. It created 1,000 construction positions in the Edmonton area to install the new and modified equipment.

"Scotford is Shell’s oil refining hub in western Canada. The enhancement of our hydrocracker increases our ability to process crude oil from Fort McMurray and strengthens our refining capability in Alberta," said Achim Schempp, General Manager for Scotford Manufacturing site. "It has been 17 months of hard work to complete this project. I’m proud of the collaboration that delivered this ambitious project safely, on time and on budget."

As MRC informed earlier, Royal Dutch Shell has signed a preliminary memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Iran’s National Petrochemical Co. (NPC) for cooperation in the petrochemical industry.

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.

French Arkema completes acquisition of Den Braven

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema completed the acquisition of Den Braven, a leader in high performance sealants for insulation and construction in Europe, on 1st December, said the producer on its site.

With this strong value-creating acquisition, Arkema confirms its long-term ambition for Bostik, and actively pursues the development of its High Performance Materials division.

Den Braven offers an extensive range of sealing, bonding and foam solutions for construction professionals as well as industry. The company achieves annual sales of some EUR350 million (2016 estimate), and employs around 1,000 people. With this acquisition, Bostik significantly reinforces its offering in the insulation and construction markets, while creating a global market leader in high performance sealants thanks to the excellent geographic, technological and commercial fit between the two groups.

"We are pleased to welcome the Den Braven teams. Their state-of-the-art technologies, first-class industrial facilities and know-how widely recognized by their customers are all assets that we will continue to develop and build upon within Bostik. We are confident that this new growth platform will support our very strong ambition in adhesives", stated Vincent Legros, Executive Vice President, Bostik.

This acquisition fully illustrates Arkema's strategy to further strengthen the Group's profile as well as reduce its capital intensity.

The integration of Den Braven offers significant synergies assessed in total at EUR30 million at least, and should be accretive to earnings per share and cash as from 2017. It represents a new milestone in the achievement of Bostik's long-term ambition.

As MRC informed earlier, on 2 February 2015, Arkema finalized the acquisition of Bostik, the world's No. 3 in adhesives.

Arkema is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc. The company's business portfolio spans high-performance materials, industrial specialties and coating solutions. Reporting annual sales of EUR7.7 billion in 2015, the company employ approximately 19,000 people worldwide and operate in close to 50 countries.

Celanese completes acquisition of Itanian SO.F.TER. Group

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, has announced it has completed the transaction to acquire the Forli, Italy based SO.F.TER. Group, one of the world's largest independent thermoplastic compounders, as per the company's press release.

Celanese has acquired SO.F.TER. Group's comprehensive product portfolio of engineering thermoplastics (ETPs), thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), as well as all customer agreements and all manufacturing, technology and commercial facilities.

The acquisition nearly doubles the number of Celanese global engineered materials product platforms and further extends Celanese's world-class operational model, technical and industry solutions capabilities, and project pipeline.

"This extended portfolio - complementary to our global engineered materials business - will be integrated with Celanese's materials capabilities and operational model to increase opportunities for engaging customers across highly diverse application areas where functionality and design freedom are critical to material selection," said Scott Sutton, Celanese executive vice president and president of Materials Solutions. "Additionally, SO.F.TER. Group's sophisticated and modern manufacturing facilities and product portfolio provide a vehicle for additional growth, investment and synergies."

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Celanese announced its agreement to acquire SO.F.TER. Group in October 2016.

As MRC informed before, in November 2016, Celanese Corporation increased the price of EVA emulsions sold in China. Prices of EVA emulsions rose by CNY200/MT for China effective November 20, 2016, or as contracts allow.

This price increase affects all applications including, but not limited to, adhesives, paints and coatings, waterproofing, building and construction, carpet and paper and is attributed to the continued pressures on raw materials, notably ethylene and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM).

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 7,000 employees worldwide and had 2015 net sales of USD5.7 billion.