Arkema to set up PEKK polymer production plant in US

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema, which recently doubled the capacity of its Kepstan PEKK (polyether ketone ketone) product line in France, has confirmed that its future investment at its Mobile site (Alabama, USA) in a world-scale PEKK plant, which is expected to come on stream in the second half of 2018, as per Business Standard.

These investments will serve the growing needs of the carbon fibre reinforced composites and additive manufacturing (3D printing) markets, confirming Arkema’s continued commitment to develop lightweight materials, one of their six innovation platforms.

"Arkema would like to thank its customers, partners and end-users who have made these investments possible by becoming early Kepstan PEKK adopters in their respective markets," said the company in a press release.

PEKK is the latest addition to the PAEK (polyaryl ether ketone) family which significantly increases the number of applications suitable for these very high performance polymers by offering a wider range of processing techniques and thermo-mechanical properties.

As MRC reported earlier, in February 2015, Arkema finalized the acquisition of Bostik, the world's No. 3 in adhesives. With this acquisition, the group reached a new milestone in its development, and confirms its ambition to become a world leader in specialty chemicals and advanced materials.

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

Yansab announce the Ethylene Glycol DBN Project.

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Yanbu National Petrochemical Company (Yansab) announces contract award on 06/03/2017 for the ethylene glycol DBN project to (eTEC E&C Limited) for Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of the project, the total contract is at lump-sum USD 99.4 Millions, as per Mubasher.

The project will be financed from Yansab own resources. Noting that the expected completion of the project will be end of 2018, after project completion the ethylene glycol plant production is expected to be increased by not less than 80 thousand tons/year. Yansab will disclose the Commissioning start and its period as well as the financial impact and its start date once become available.

Yansab is the most recent SABIC, (Saudi Basic Industries Corp), affiliate in Saudi Arabia, and will be the largest Sabic petrochemical complex. It will have an annual capacity exceeding 4 million metric tons (MT) of petrochemical products including: 1.3 million MT (metric-tons) of ethylene; 400,000 MT of propylene; 900,000 MT of polyethylene; 400,000 MT of polypropylene; 700,000 MT of ethylene glycol; 250,000 MT of benzene, xylene and toluene, and 100,000 MT of butene-1 and butene-2.

Evonik starts construction of Weiterstadt PMMA sheets plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik has marked the start of construction of a new stretching and polishing plant at the Weiterstadt site with a groundbreaking ceremony on March 2, as per the company's press release.

The Essen-based Group is investing a two-digit million euro amount in the plant. Thanks to systematic forward integration, Evonik’s Performance Materials Segment will then become a complete provider of cast and stretched polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) sheets for the aviation industry.

The new plant will be the most advanced of its kind in the world for production of stretched aircraft materials made from PLEXIGLAS. It is being constructed directly next to the existing production facility for the cast PMMA blocks that serve as the primary products for the stretching process. The plant allows production of stretched PMMA sheets that are more than twice as large as the currently available formats, yet satisfy the stringent standards (Mil-P-25690 and EN 4366) of the aviation industry.

"The new plant fits perfectly with our position as a leading supplier of polymer materials. It is the embodiment of our expertise in building complex technology platforms and integrated structures and operating them efficiently. It also indicates our commitment to serve the aviation industry as a reliable partner," said Dr. Michael Pack, member of the Management Board of Evonik Performance Materials GmbH.

Compared with cast PMMA materials, stretched PMMA sheets have higher impact strength and increased chemical resistance. The material is therefore especially well-suited to meet the extremely high requirements of the aviation industry.

While registering attractive growth, the market for stretched aircraft materials is characterized by limited capacities on the part of suppliers.

"As the world’s only producer of these extra-large format stretched PMMA sheets, we are once again living up to our claim of being an innovation leader in acrylic products. With our PLEXIGLAS brand we guarantee the highest possible quality and absolute reliability," says Martin Kramer, head of the Acrylic Products Business Line. "The new plant is a concrete example of how we’re putting our vision, ‘Evolution in acrylics is our passion’, into practice for the benefit of our customers."

As MRC informed earlier, Evonik is expanding its production facilities in Birmingham (Alabama, USA) and Darmstadt (Germany). 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.

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 is active in over 100 countries around the world with more than 35,000 employees. In fiscal 2016 the enterprise generated sales of around EUR12,7 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about EUR2.165 billion.

Mercury Packaging, CPS Flexible Ltd merge to increase capacity, production efficiencies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In a bid to increase capacity and boost production efficiencies, Mercury Packaging and CPS Flexible Ltd have merged to form a major flexible packaging company with a combined turnover of some GBP16 million and forecasted growth of 25% over a three-year period, said Packagingnews.

The newly-formed BRC (British Retail Consortium) accredited business will operate under holding company, Quicksilver, but retain the Mercury Packaging and CPS Flexible brand names. Primarily targeting the food, publishing, retail and security markets, it will run from the existing state-of-the-art production facilities located in Nottingham and Leicester.

Tony Stanger, new Group Chairman, comments: "This transaction brings together two highly complementary and long-established organisations to create a new, more powerful flexible packaging company designed to further enhance our expertise and capabilities."

CPS Flexible has extensive extrusion capability for the production of both polythene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) films to complement their print and bag-making functions. Mercury Packaging does not offer extrusion but boasts printing, conversion and lamination competencies.


LyondellBasell extends force majeure to all polypropylene from Brindisi plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell has extended its force majeure declaration on Hostalen polypropylene (PP) from its Brindisi, Italy plant to include all grades of polypropylene from the plant, as per Plastemart with reference to a PP buyer who had received a company letter to that effect.

Force majeure on the "Hostalen" grade was declared in the first week of February. The Brindisi plant, at one of the most southerly points in Italy, is well situated to export outside continental Europe, with Turkey heard to be a major buyer from the plant, European trade sources said they expected little impact on the Northwest European spot market as a result of the force majeure.

Production of polypropylene from the plant was expected to restart within two weeks, the buyer said. However, it was not yet clear when the declaration of force majeure would be lifted. LyondellBasell were not immediately available for comment.

As MRC reported earlier, in May 2016, LyondellBasell completed the previously announced acquisition of the polypropylene (PP) compounding assets of Zylog Plastalloys Pvt. Ltd. (Zylog) in India. The company entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zylog's PP compounding assets in November 2015. LyondellBasell has supplied the Indian market through imports and tolling arrangements since 2009. In October 2015, LyondellBasell acquired SJS Plastiblends Pvt. Ltd.'s PP compounding business which is located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. With the acquisition of Zylog's manufacturing operations in Sinnar, Maharashtra, and Chennai, Tamil Nadu, LyondellBasell is now the third largest producer of PP compounds in India with an annual capacity of 44,000 metric tons (97 million pounds).

LyondellBasell is one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies and a member of the S&P 500. LyondellBasell manufactures products at 57 sites in 18 countries. LyondellBasell products and technologies are used to make items that improve the quality of life for people around the world including packaging, electronics, automotive parts, home furnishings, construction materials and biofuels. Hostacom and Hifax are trademarks owned by LyondellBasell. The manufacturing facilities in India are owned and operated by Basell Polyolefins India Pvt. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of LyondellBasell.