BASF and Haier launch joint Innovation Lab in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF is teaming up with Haier to offer high quality polyurethane-based solutions to customers jointly developed at a new Innovation Lab in Qingdao, China, reported GV.

The lab, housed within the Haier Industrial Park, will further strengthen innovation collaboration between the two companies. It will conduct joint research and development projects as well as oversee tests and quality control of polyurethane-based home appliances, including hot water boilers.

"The new lab brings together the expertise of both partners to improve operational efficiencies through the utilization of shared resources. The collaboration will be instrumental in enhancing various quality parameters of polyurethane products in order to meet the ever-demanding consumer need for energy saving, yet efficient, home appliances," said Jingchun Wang, Manufacturing Director, Haier Zhongyi plant.

The lab, located near Haier’s training center for engineers, will also serve as a learning facility for both companies. It will provide theoretical and practical training, as well as act as a platform for technicians to share best practices and ideas for future projects.

"Through a holistic training program, BASF and Haier will have the opportunity to learn from each other about our unique technologies. Together, we aim to create solutions that will benefit our customers. BASF will bring to the table its expertise in material innovations and competences, which can help Haier’s designers and technical experts make more informed decisions about material innovations used in polyurethane-based projects," said Manfred Pawlowski, Vice President, Consumer, Performance Materials Asia Pacific, BASF. "Similarly, Haier can help us better understand market needs by sharing technical knowledge about advanced technologies in home appliances."

The lab will house several instruments such as a heat conductivity coefficient screening instrument, water quantity controller, viscosity detector, universal tester, foam cutting machine, high accuracy electronic scale, and explosion-proof blender to accommodate all quality aspects of polyurethane products.

In March 2017, BASF was awarded Best Supplier by Haier for the third consecutive year.

As MRC wrote previously, in August 2016, BASF celebrated the inauguration of its new facilities for the production of Ucrete in Bukit Raja, Klang/Malaysia. It is the first manufacturing hub in Asia Pacific to produce all components of Ucrete.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF 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.

Trinseo completes acquisition of Italian API

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, has completed the acquisition of API Applicazioni Plastiche Industriali S.p.A., as per GV.

This was announced by Trinseo on 10 July.

Trinseo said that the transaction includes API’s manufacturing and research facility at Mussolente, Italy, and all of API’s business, employees and assets. The API management team and employees are now part of Trinseo’s Performance Plastics business.

"The completion of this transaction will bring great opportunities to our customers and employees," said Chris Pappas, president and CEO of Trinseo. "We will be able to grow the combined business by leveraging API’s soft-touch polymers and Trinseo’s rigid polymers to our collective customer base in all geographies."

As MRC informed earlier, Trinseo and its affiliate companies in Europe have recently announced a price decrease for all polystyrene (PS) grades. Effective as of 4 July, or as existing contract terms allow, the July contract and spot prices for the products listed below will decrease as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS), STYRON and STYRON A-TECH high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) by - EUR80 per metric ton.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo's technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015. Trinseo had approximately USD4.0 billion in revenue in 2015, with 18 manufacturing sites around the world, and more than 2,200 employees.

Intertape Polymer Group completes transaction to acquire Cantech

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Intertape Polymer Group Inc. has announced the completion on July 1 of the previously-announced transaction to acquire substantially all of the assets of Canadian Technical Tape Ltd, a North American supplier of industrial and specialty tapes based in Montreal, as per MarketWired.

The expected aggregate purchase price is approximately USD67 million (as updated from the previously-communicated purchase price of USD63 million due to certain purchase price adjustments), subject to further post-closing adjustments. All amounts in this press release are denominated in US dollars.

The Cantech acquisition will further enhance and extend the company's product offering, and provide additional distribution channels for IPG products in Canada, the US, and Europe. The purchase price was financed with funds available under IPG's revolving USD450 million credit facility.

As MRC wrote before, in early 2016, Intertape Polymer Group Inc. decided to invest in the construction of a greenfield manufacturing facility to increase the company's manufacturing capacity of water-activated tapes.

Intertape makes film- and paper-based pressure sensitive and water-activated tapes, polyethylene and specialized polyolefin films, woven coated fabrics and packaging systems for industrial and retail use. The company has 16 sites, including 11 manufacturing locations in North America and one manufacturing site in Porto, Portugal.

Zhejiang Petrochemical starts construction of Chinas first private oil refinery site

MOSCOW (MRC) — Zhejiang Petrochemical started construction on Monday of the first phase of its oil refining and petrochemical complex on the island of Zhoushan, near Shanghai, in Zhejiang province, the official Xinhua news agency reported, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Xinhua did not give an expected start-up date for the project. Reuters reported last year that the project was likely to be operational by 2020.

Zhejiang Petrochemical's project will consist of two 400,000 bpd oil refineries and two 1.4 MMtpy ethylene plants, according to an environmental evaluation paper from the Zhejiang provincial government dated May 3.

The project is part of Beijing's efforts to bring private investors into the country's state-controlled energy sector. It has also raised concerns of a growing domestic glut in oil products, especially in eastern China where diesel and gasoline demand eased.

Textile maker Rongsheng Holding Group, petrochemical maker Juhua Group and Tongkun Group, are the main financiers of the USD25.44-B project, the environmental document showed. The investors will borrow more than 120 B yuan in bank loans to finance the project, the document said.

Formosa buys naphtha using new price formula

MOSCOW (MRC) — Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp this week bought about 60 Mt of naphtha using a pricing formula uncommon in the region, said Reuters.

Formosa, Asia's top naphtha importer, paid a discount of about USD5/t to a formula based 50–50 on prices from S&P Global Platts and Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), a unit of consulting firm IHS Markit, the sources said.

The discount paid for the cargoes, to be delivered in the second-half August to the port of Mailiao, marked the lowest price paid by Formosa since December, as the market struggles with surplus supplies.

"The difference in naphtha prices between those assessed by Platts and OPIS is very marginal," said one of the sources. They both declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak with media.

They added that Formosa plans to use the new formula in other transactions, saying it was in talks with sellers for some time before the change.

The company operates three naphtha crackers that produce more than 2.9 MMt of ethylene a year. Before this, Formosa, like other end users in eastern Asia, bought naphtha on a formula that was fully priced off Platts assessments.

On the other hand, refiners such as Abu Dhabi National Oil Corp (ADNOC), Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) use prices from Platts and Argus Media.