Victrex and Tri-Mack JV to accelerate commercial adoption of PAEK within aerospace industry

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Victrex and Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing Corporation have established a joint venture, TxV Aero Composites, to accelerate the commercial adoption of polyketone (PAEK) composite applications within the aerospace industry, through the manufacture of parts utilizing new and innovative processes, according to Plastemart.

The multi-million dollar investment includes the establishment of a new US-based manufacturing facility. The new company will be a total solutions provider for polyketone composites, from concept development through commercialization. By combining world-class expertise in materials, engineering, development and manufacturing, TxV Aero Composites will be able to address customer challenges with dedicated speed and focus. The intent is to offer a range of PAEK composites, from custom laminates to pre-formed composite inserts for hybrid molding processes, as well as finished composite parts and complete over-molded hybrid composite components and assemblies.

These innovative products can deliver weight savings of up to 60% over conventional metallic solutions, and offer continuous manufacturing processes and cycle times measured in minutes versus hours for thermoset alternatives. One example is VICTREX AE 250 composites, a new lower temperature processing PAEK-based composite product family that enables a unique hybrid mold¬ing process. This innovation combines the strength of continuously-reinforced thermoplastic composites with the design flexibility and proven performance of VICTREX PEEK injection molding polymers.

Tri-Mack Plastics is a proven and long-standing partner of Victrex and has an excellent reputation for developing and manufacturing complex parts and assemblies for the Aerospace industry.

TxV Aero Composites will establish a purpose-built polyketone composite center of excellence in the USA, due to be completed in 2017.

Commercial aircraft use thousands of brackets and system attachments from the cockpit to the tail of the plane. The total amount of these components on an aircraft can add a significant amount of cost and weight especially if they are made from machined metal or thermoset layups. The VICTREX PAEK-based components can be manufactured more efficiently than conventional thermoset alternatives, and can deliver significant weight savings compared to stainless steel and titanium while offering equivalent or better mechanical properties such as strength, stiffness, and fatigue.

As MRC informed previously, global thermoplastic composites end product market is expected to reach at USD9.9 bln in 2020 at a CAGR of 6.5% over the period of 2015 to 2020. Thermoplastic composites market can be classified as continuous and discontinuous composite. The widely used thermoplastic composites are LFT, SFT, and GMT. Enhancement in product performance by innovation and lower overall cost for consumers is expected to further drive the market. The biggest challenge in the industry is relatively higher cost of materials compared to competing materials. Further market development is expected to depend upon material availability at reasonable prices.

Octal mulls IPO by 2019 as it expands facilities globally

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Octal, a USD650 mln petrochemical project in Oman, is eyeing an initial public offering by 2019 as it expands its facilities globally to cater to a growing clientele for its plastics products, according to company officials in, reported Plastemart.

Octal, which was set up in 2006 in the southern port city of Salalah, is spending USD110 mln over a five-year period to produce new products, add capacity and expand its footprint into regions such as South America, according to Nicholas Barakat, the company’s chief executive.

With regards to the IPO, the company has not finalised plans for size or location. Octal has in the past relied on loans and its own resources to fund expansion.

"We look at different scenarios," Mr Barakat said. "Markets are very fluid now in the Middle East. With the numbers we have, we qualify to float from Hong Kong to Tokyo to New York."

The company’s current capacity is 1 million tonnes a year of petrochemicals from plants in Salalah, the US and Saudi Arabia, 98 per cent of which is exported, with the US taking the lion’s share. The new capacity has not been finalised yet as the company mulls adding capacity from a new undisclosed location.

"The objective here is to continue to invest in our asset base to produce more products out of the same machines," said William Barenberg Jr, the executive vice president and chief operating officer. "The other part is to incrementally add capacity this year aggressively both in Salalah and in Cincinnati in the USA."

As MRC informed previously, in May 2014, Orpic said it had awarded two contracts for construction of a USD3.6 billion plastics production complex, the Liwa Plastics Project. The plant will be built in Oman's northern industrial city of Sohar, next to Orpic's oil refinery and petrochemical plants. The Liwa Plastics Project is due to be completed in 2018, doubling Orpic's profitability by allowing it to extract more value from Omani crude oil and natural gas, the company said.

The project will boost Orpic's annual production of polypropylene and polyethylene to 1.4 million tonnes, increasing Oman's exports, while additional production of 1 million tonnes of plastics will help to develop downstream industries within the country, ORPIC added.

Ineos announces refinancing of Term Loans all its outstanding dollar-denominated senior notes

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ineos announces refinancing of Term Loans and planned refinancing of all of its outstanding Dollar-denominated 5.875% Senior Notes due 2019 and Euro-denominated 5.750% Senior Notes due 2019.
Monday, 30 January 2017, as per the company's press release.

Thus, Ineos Group Holdings S.A. announced that its indirect wholly owned finance subsidiaries, INEOS Finance plc and INEOS US Finance LLC, intend to take the following actions under the existing Senior Secured Term Loan Agreement:

- prepay all the Term Loans due 2018 in an amount of approximately USD1,315,000,000 with cash on hand;
- convert all the Term Loans due 2020 and all the Term Loans due 2022 in an aggregate amount of approximately EUR1,935,000,000 and USD1,490,000,000 to new tranches of Term Loans due 2022 in approximately the same amount but having lower interest rate margins than the existing tranches;
- and borrow additional term loans in an amount of approximately EUR1,150,000,000 (in a combination of euro and U.S. dollars) and use the net proceeds from the borrowing to refinance all of INEOS’s outstanding 5.875% Senior Notes due 2019 and 5.750% Senior Notes due 2019.

After giving effect to the Refinancing, the aggregate amount of debt under Ineos’ secured credit facilities will remain approximately the same as prior to the Refinancing, but with lower pricing and longer average life, while the total amount of Ineos' unsecured debt will be significantly reduced. There can be no assurance that the Refinancing will be completed.

As MRC informed before, in May 2016, INEOS Enterprises confirmed it has reached an agreement in principle, to sell INEOS Styrenics, its Expandable Polystyrene Business (EPS), to Synthos S.A. for EUR80m.

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.

Celanese raises March VAM prices in Europe and the Americas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, will increase list and off-list selling prices for vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) in Europe and the Americas, as per the company's press release.

The price increases below will be effective March 1, 2017, or as contracts allow.

Thus, VAM prices will be raised, as follows:

- by EUR100/mt - for Europe;
- by USD100/mt - for Central and South America and Mexico;
- by USD0.05/lb - for USA and Canada.

As MRC wrote before, last year, Celanese Corporation already raised its June list and off-list VAM selling prices. The price increases were effective June 1, 2016, or as contracts allowed, and were as follows:

- by EUR50/mt - for Europe;
- by USD50/mt - for Central and South America and Mexico;
- by USD0.02/lb - for USA and Canada.

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 7,300 employees worldwide and had 2016 net sales of USD5.4 billion.

W.R. Grace to license process technology to Chinese Dongguan Grand Resources

MOSCOW (MRC) -- W. R. Grace & Co., supplier of polyolefin catalyst technology and polypropylene (PP) process technology, contracted to license its UNIPOL PP process technology to Dongguan Grand Resource Science & Technology Co. Ltd. in the fourth quarter of 2016, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The installations will be made at the company's facility in Dongguan, Guangzhou province, China, and are expected to begin operations in 2019 using Grace's leading non-phthalate CONSISTA PP catalysts.

Dongguan Grand Resource's new facility will produce a total of 600 kilotons per year of homopolymer thermoplastic resins in dual reactor lines. The project represents the 20th and 21st UNIPOL PP process technology reactor line licenses in China.

Grace's UNIPOL PP process technology is an all gas-phase technology with the industry's broadest product capabilities coupled with stable and predictable operation. UNIPOL PP process technology is the simplest of all PP process technologies, with fewer moving parts and less equipment than any competing alternative. This leads to lower capital, operating, and maintenance costs while maximizing reliability.

"We are committed to delivering high quality products at competitive prices and Grace's UNIPOL PP process and CONSISTA catalyst system is the most economical way to rapidly develop our portfolio of products," said Dongguan Grand Resources Vice President Wang Ligui.

"Grace is proud to partner with Dongguan Grand Resources and continue our record of service to customers in China. We believe this represents more evidence that our industry-leading process technology and catalysts technologies combine to provide our customers unparalleled flexibility to deliver the resins that are in highest demand," said Al Beninati, President of Grace's Specialty Catalysts business segment.

As MRC informed before, in 2015, W. R. Grace & Co. announced that it would provide its UNIPOL PP technology and services to Yunnan Yuntianhua PetroChemical Co., Ltd. for a new PP production facility in Anning Yunnan, China. Yunnan Yuntianhua PetroChemical is a new subsidiary of Yuntianhua Group Co., Ltd., the largest chemical company in Kunming, Yunnan Province. With an expected opening in 2017, the new enterprise plans to purchase propylene from the PetroChina Yuannan refinery and build a unit that will produce polypropylene at a rate of150 kta, or kilotons per year.

Grace is a leading supplier of polyolefin catalyst technology and has the broadest portfolio of polyolefin catalyst technologies of any independent polyethylene/polypropylene catalyst producer. Grace's industry-leading UNIPOL PP licensing and related catalysts include the UNIPOL UNIPPAC Process Control software, SHAC Catalysts Systems, and 6th Generation non-phthalate CONSISTA Catalysts Systems.