Asahi Kasei expands S-SBR plant in Singapore

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asahi Kasei Synthetic Rubber Singapore Pte. Ltd., a fully owned subsidiary of Asahi Kasei Corp., has announced that it will increase the production capacity of its S-SBR plant on Jurong Island, Singapore, according to GV.

The company said it will expand both of the S-SBR lines at the site by a combined 30,000 t/y, raising the plant’s total capacity to 130,000 t/y, to reinforce its supply capability and meet further demand growth.

Start-up of the expanded capacity is scheduled for January 2019.

According to the company, demand for tyres that provide enhanced fuel-efficiency has been growing rapidly and is forecast to continue to do so as tyre production in emerging countries grows in line with greater motorisation and as environmental regulations around the world become increasingly stringent.

Asahi Kasei currently operates S-SBR plants in Japan (Kanagawa and Oita prefectures) and Singapore. The Singapore plant began operation in 2013.

As MRC informed previously, on 15 February, 2016, Asahi Kasei mothballed its styrene monomer (SM) plant in Japan. The exact reason behind the permanent shutdown could not be ascertained. Located in Mizushima, Japan, the plant had a production capacity of 320,000 mt/year.

Asahi Kasei Corporation is a global Japanese chemical company. Its main products are chemicals and materials science.

Hungarian processor Simon completes €3m expansion scheme

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Technical injection moulder Simon Plastics has become a significant plastics processor in Hungary after it invested almost EUR3m in a new plant in the west of the country, said Plasticsnewseurope.

The company, which specialises in producing plastics and metal components for the auto sector, expanded its capacity with the addition of a new production hall and six new injection moulding machines at its site in Koszarhegy.

With the assistance of European Union funding worth EUR1.13m, Simon Plastics, which was founded in 1985 by its owner Simon Istvan, spent EUR295,600 to extend the IT system to allow for planning and monitoring all injection machine moulding.

The project included converting a previous warehouse on the site into a mould making shop and offices. Simon utilises overall working space amounting to 15,000m2.

Its latest investment brings to three the number of plants now run by Simon Plastics. Its main production is centred on the village of Koszarhegy, near the city of Szekesfehervar, and the site of an existing facility. A third manufacturing unit is located in the nearby village of Szabadbattyan.

Simon Plastics, employing a total workforce of 480, now operates almost 100 injection moulding machines with a clamping force ranging from 25 to 1,000 tonnes. The equipment can be used for silicone and multi-component moulding.

Apart from automotive parts production, the firm moulds electrical connectors and plastic components for the electronics, medical, energy and food industries. Company customers include European auto product brands including Bosch, Hi-Lex, General Electric, Denso and Valeo.

Simon Plastics has recorded growing annual turnover in recent years and is reported to be expecting revenue to peak at nearly EUR20m in 2017 against around EUR17.6m last year.

Petrobras board approves listing fuel distribution arm

MOSCOW (MRC) — The board of Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA voted to list its fuel distribution unit on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, said Reuters.

Petrobras will sell a 25% to 40% stake in BR Distribuidora, as the unit is known, the filing said. The transaction is subject to approval by regulators.

As MRC informed earlier, in December 2016, Petroleo Brasileiro said its board approved the sale of two petrochemical companies, Petroquimica Suape and Citepe, to Mexico’s Alpek SAB de CV for USD385 million.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras is an integrated energy firm. Petrobras' activities include exploration, exploitation and production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks as well as refining, processing, trade and transport of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons, in addition to other energy-related activities.

Parkland completes acquisition of Chevron Canadas downstream fuel business

MOSCOW (MRC) — Parkland Fuel Corporation, Canada’s largest and one of North America’s fastest growing independent marketers of fuel and petroleum products, announced the closing of its acquisition of Chevron Canada R & M ULC which operates a downstream fuel business in British Columbia and Alberta, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"This acquisition provides Parkland with British Columbia’s strongest fuel marketing business and will make Parkland the exclusive distributor of Chevron-branded fuels. With this acquisition, Parkland is also acquiring the Burnaby Refinery, a proven asset that directly supports our core fuel marketing business in an important region, and enhances our supply advantage," said Bob Espey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Parkland.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome the Chevron Canada refining and marketing employees to the Parkland team. We believe in and are committed to investing in these assets, and the local employees who will help us grow in BC and beyond."

Parkland closed the transaction on October 1, 2017 at 00:59am (Calgary time).

Parkland will update its 2017 Adjusted EBITDA guidance concurrently with the release of its Q3 2017 financial results.

Sudpack Verpackungen buys US converter Seville Flexpack

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sudpack Verpackungen GmbH of Germany is acquiring Seville Flexpack Corp., a move that provides the flexible packaging maker its first manufacturing operations in the United States, said Plasticsnewseurope.

Seville, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, put itself up for sale earlier this year following years of infighting between the heirs of Seville’s founder, Walter J. Yakich, following his death in June 2014.

"We’d been looking for a suitable candidate for our U.S. business for quite some time," said Johannes Remmele, managing partner at Sudpack, in a statement. "The site is ideal in a number of ways: the facilities offer modern equipment for flexographic and rotogravure printing, sufficient storage capacity, and most importantly: highly experienced workers."

Sudpack is based in Ochsenhausen, Germany, and previously only had a sales office in the United States in the Chicago area, the company said. The company also has 35 sales offices and production facilities in Germany, France, Poland and Switzerland. TKO Miller LLC, a Milwaukee-based investment bank, advised Seville on the sale.

"We saw a lot of parties interested in Seville, but Sudpack was a buyer that had a very good understanding of Seville’s business model, its manufacturing processes, and customer based as well as a desire to grow the business in Wisconsin," said Joe Froehlich, managing director of TKO Miller, in a statement.

Seville became part of Sudpack on Oct 1, and terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company has two manufacturing sites near its Oak Creek headquarters.

Sudpack’s Remmele pointed to Seville’s location "in the heart of the U.S. meat and cheese industry — to key customer segments for our packaging solutions. Taken together, it is the perfect fit for or corporate group."

Sudpack, using Seville’s facility, "expects to provide products to its U.S.-based customers more quickly and with more flexibility," the company said in a statement. Sudpack declined comment beyond a statement announcing the purchase.

"This is Sudpack’s first acquisition in the United States, and the company believes that it will set the groundwork for further expanding its U.S. presence," the company said in the statement.

The sale comes about eight months after children of Yakich agreed to sell the converter and hired TKO Miller to handle the transaction.

At the time, interim CEO Laxson Boyd said the goal was to find a strategic buyer, one that was already in the industry, to help maximize the value of the firm. At the time, he pointed to the company’s loyal customer base, employees and unused capacity as attractions for potential buyers.