Evonik hikes capacity for biodegradable polymers in the US and Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik is expanding its production facilities in Birmingham (Alabama, USA) and Darmstadt (Germany), said the company on its press-release.

This will create additional capacity for the production of biodegradable polymers marketed globally under the brand names RESOMER and RESOMER SELECT. These poly-lactic-glycolic-acid (PLGA) copolymers are primarily used to manufacture bioresorbable medical devices and controlled-release formulations for parenteral drug delivery.

"We expect the global demand for biodegradable polymers to continue to grow in the coming years," explains Paul Spencer, Head of Biomaterials at Evonik’s Health Care Business Line. "With this in mind, we are currently investing to increase the capacity of our production facilities in order to serve our global customer base."

The expansion will involve construction of a new building adjacent to Evonik’s existing facility in Birmingham. Besides greater production capacity, the project will also result in new production clean rooms and a laboratory for polymer contract research projects. Commissioning is slated for late 2018.

The expanded plant in Birmingham is the second investment to serve the growing market demand after the inauguration of the new manufacturing site in Darmstadt two years ago. The Darmstadt unit capacity will also be increased with the opening of a new production line. "By serving the market from two state-of-the-art locations, Evonik strengthens its role as a reliable partner for its customers and underpin its commitment to this market" adds Spencer.

Moreover, Evonik will open an applied technology laboratory in Darmstadt at the end of the year to support its customers in the medical device field. Its first facility of this kind was completed in 2015 in Shanghai (China). At these laboratories, customers receive prompt support for product development and training in the use of Evonik products.

As MRC informed earlier, Evonik Resource Efficiency will invest in a capacity expansion of its performance foams business at its production site in Darmstadt, Germany.

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world.

PPG to sell plasterboard business in Mexico

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PPG announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell the assets of its Mexico-based Plaka plasterboard and cement-board business to Knauf International GmbH, said the producer on its website.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

PPG acquired the Plaka business in 2014 as part of its acquisition of Comex, S.A. de C.V. Plaka, with approximate sales of USD30 million in 2015, manufactures plasterboard, cement board and drywall primarily for the Mexican construction market. The business employs about 200 people and operates a manufacturing facility in Queretaro, Mexico.

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.


Sinopec starts construction of Zhanjiang refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) - China's Sinopec Group has begun construction of a long-planned refinery and petrochemical complex in the southern city of Zhanjiang, said Reuters.

The first phase of the mega projects includes a 10 million tonnes per year refinery and an 800,000 tonnes per year ethylene complex that produces plastics, synthetics, rubber and fibre, Sinopec said.

Sinopec and OPEC member Kuwait has agreed on a preliminary deal to build the energy complex in a USD9 billion joint venture.

As MRC informed earlier, Rosneft and Sinopec Groupsigned in June 2016 a Framework Agreement on joint pre-feasibility study of the project related to the construction and operation of a gas processing and petrochemical complex in East Siberia.

China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) is a super-large petroleum and petrochemical enterprise group established in July 1998 on the basis of the former China Petrochemical Corporation. Sinopec Group's key business activities include the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, petrochemicals and other chemical products, oil refining.

Algeria, French Total sign deal for petrochemical plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Algerian state energy company Sonatrach said it had signed a deal with French Total to set up a major petrochemical facility in Algeria, said Reuters.

Sonatrach has commissioned Total to do a feasibility study, it said in a statement. It gave no details on the scale of the investment or its production capacity, but said it will be of a "world-class standard".

OPEC member Algeria has been looking to increase foreign investment in its energy sector after several years of stagnant oil and gas production, especially as the government wants to offset the impact of a sharp fall in global oil prices.

Earlier this year, Total filed a request for arbitration against Algeria for changing profit-sharing terms on oil and gas contracts in the mid-2000s. Algeria has said it was preparing to counter the claim, but expected little impact on business.

As MRC informed earlier, Total intended to invest EUR160m before 2016 to adapt its petrochemical platform in Carling, in the Lorraine region of eastern France, and to restore its competitiveness.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

Celanese to increase January prices of acetic acid in the Americas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company and a global leader in vinyl acetate ethylene (EVA) emulsions, will increase list and off-list selling prices for acetic acid in early 2017, as per the company's statement.

The price increase below will be effective January 1, 2017, or as contracts allow, and will be USD0.03/lb for the USA and Canada and USD65/tonne for Mexico and South America.

As MRC reported previously, Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, raised its November list and off-list selling prices for acetic acid in China in view of recent market conditions. The price increase below was effective as of 23 November, or as contracts allow, and was RMB150/mt.

Besides, 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.