Richards new head of North American CAS business at Covestro

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Aleta Richards will succeed Christine Bryant as head of commercial operations for Covestro LLC's North American Coatings, Adhesives and Specialties (CAS) business, effective from 1 February 2018, as per GV.

Richards’ appointment follows a recent communication in which Bryant was named the new head of Polyurethanes in North America, effective from the same date. In her new role, Richards will join the Covestro North American Leadership Team.

Having started her career at Covestro (then part of Bayer) in 1990, Richards is well acquainted with the organisation and brings to the role more than 20 years’ experience in marketing, sales, human resources and general management. She has held various leadership positions throughout the company, including time spent in the North American CAS group, where she led global key account sales and strategic marketing for four years. Richards also served as head of the Bayer US HR organization, which provided HR administrative services for roughly 14,000 Bayer employees. Currently, Richards serves as head of regional product management for the North American Polycarbonates business.

As MRC reported earlier, on 1 September, 2015, Bayer MaterialScience became known as Covestro. The plans for the carve-out of Bayer MaterialScience were announced in September 2014.

An in mid-September 2017, Bayer further reduced its holding in Covestro to 31.5% from 40.9% by selling 19 million shares in the plastics business for a total of EUR1.2 billion (USD1.4 billion).

Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is an independent subgroup within Bayer. It was created as part of the restructuring of Bayer AG from the former business group Bayer Polymers, with certain of its activities being spun off to Lanxess AG. Covestro manufactures and develops materials such as coatings, adhesives and sealants, polycarbonates (CDs, DVDs), polyurethanes (automotive seating, insulation for refrigerating appliances) etc.

PE imports to Ukraine down by 7% in 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of polyethylene (PE) into the Ukrainian market dropped in 2017 by 7% year on year to 247,600 tonnes. Onlye high density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the decrease in imports, according to MRC's DataScope report.

December PE imports to Ukraine grew to 21,900 tonnes from 21,900 tonnes in November, local companies increased their purchasing of low density polyethylene (LDPE), whereas purchasing of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) were reduced. Overall PE imports reached 247,600 tonnes in 2017, compared to 266,600 tonnes a year earlier, only HDPE imports decreased because of higher domestic production, whereas demand for other ethylene polymers increased.

The supply structure by PE grades looked the following way over the stated period.

HDPE imports to the Ukrainian market dropped slightly in December, some local companies reduced imports of film grade polyethylene (PE). December total imports were 7,400 tonnes, compared to 7,900 tonnes in November. Overall HDPE imports reached 96,700 tonnes in 2017, compared to 126,300 tonnes a year earlier. The film grade HDPE accounted for the greatest decrease in imports, which was caused by the resumption of the domestic production.

December LDPE imports rose to 7,700 tonnes from 5,900 tonnes a month earlier, some companies were building up additional LDPE inventories on the back of prognosis of higher prices in January-February. Overall LDPE imports exceeded 69,100 tonnes over the stated period, up by 2% year on year.

December LLDPE imports were 5,500 tonnes versus 6,300 tonnes in November, with stretch films producers accounting for a decrease in demand for PE. Last year's overall LLDPE imports grew to 66,100 tonnes from 59,300 tonnes a year earlier. Local producers of film products accounted for the main increase in imports.

Imports of other PE grades, including ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA), totalled 15,600 tonnes over the stated period, compared to 13,200 tonnes a year earlier.


PE imports to Kazakhstan rose by 24% in 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of polyethylene (PE) into Kazakhstan grew in 2017 by 24% year on year, totalling about 121,400 tonnes. Shipments of all PE grades increased, reported MRC analysts.

December PE imports to Kazakhstan fell to 9,300 tonnes from 12,000 tonnes a month earlier, local companies significantly decreased their purchasing of high density polyethylene (HDPE) in Russia and Uzbekistan. Overall PE imports were 121,400 tonnes in 2017, compared to 97,800 tonnes a year earlier. Purchasing of all PE grades rose, with linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) accounting for the greatest increase.

The structure of PE imports by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

December HDPE imports to Kazakhstan dropped to 6,500 tonnes from 9,600 a month earlier. Local companies, particularly, pipes producers, reduced their purchasing of PE in Russian and Uzbekistan under the pressure of seasonal factors. Thus, last year's HDPE imports reached 92,700 tonnes, up by 26% year on year.

December purchases of LDPE in foreign markets by local companies increased to 1,900 tonnes from 1,700 tonnes in November, Russian producers raised their shipments slightly. Overall LDPE imports to Kazakhstan totalled 21,600 tonnes over the stated period, up by 15% year on year.

Purchasing of LLDPE by local companies was 7,200 tonnes in 2017 versus 5,600 tonnes a year earlier.


PP imports into Ukraine rose by 3% in 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) - Total imports of polypropylene (PP) into Ukraine increased to 123,100 tonnes in 2017, up 3% compared to 2016.
The greatest decrease in imports occurred for homopolymer PP, according to MRC DataScope.

December PP imports to Ukraine decreased 10,700 tonnes from 11,900 tonnes a month earlier, with the propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) and block propylene copolymers (PP block copolymers) accounting for a decrease in shipments. Overall PP imports into the country increased to 123,100 tonnes over the stated period versus 119,600 tonnes a year earlier. Demand for all PP grades increased, but homopolymer PP accounted for the greatest growth.

Structure of PP supplies over the reported period looked as follows.

Last month's imports of homopolymer PP to the Ukrainian market decreased to 8,600 tonnes from 9,200 tonnes in November. The main decrease occurred for the supply of homopolymer PP raffia grade from Saudi Arabia. Overall homopolymer PP imports totalled 94,400 tonnes in 2017, up by 4% year on year.

December imports of PP block copolymers into the country were about 1,000 tonnes, down 10% year on year. Local companies decreased their demand for pipe propylene copolymers. Imports of PP block copolymers into the country were about 12,900 tonnes in January-December, compared with a little more than 12,500 tonnes.

December imports of PP random copolymers into Ukraine decreased to 1,000 tonnes against 1,500 tonnes in November, with decrease in purchases provided by local producers of pipes and injection moulding products. Overall imports of PP random copolymers reached 13,700 tonnes in January-December 2017, whereas this figure was 13,600 tonnes a year earlier.

Total imports of other propylene copolymers over the reporting period were about 2,100 tonnes, compared with 2,500 tonnes in the same time a year earlier.


Ascend introduces new high performance PA66 for electrical components in unattended appliances

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ascend Performance Materials, the world’s largest fully integrated producer of polyamide 66 resin, has launched Vydyne FR350J, a new high performance compound based on polyamide 66 (PA66) that will bring extra safety to electrical connectors used in unattended home appliances, as per the company's press release.

In addition to excellent electrical and flammability properties, Vydyne FR350J also exhibits high ductility and elongation at break (15 percent), providing engineers with greater freedom when designing parts such as living hinges and snap fits.

The new unreinforced, flame-retardant compound also has superior melt flow and requires lower pressure to fill molds; reducing cycle times and production costs. Vydyne FR350J has a wide processing window and is color stable for natural and colorable applications.

"Home appliances are getting smarter and demand for these so-called 'smart' products continues to grow. That means they will incorporate more electronics and more connectors," said Vikram Gopal, Ascend’s vice president of technology. "Vydyne FR350J will make sure that appliances are safe as well as smart."

Additional features of Vydyne FR350J include an RTI electrical rating of 130°C (RTI is the relative temperature index; RTI electrical is an indication of how critical electrical insulating properties vary with temperature) and a UL94 V-0 flammability rating at thicknesses down to 0.4 mm. The flame retardant additive package is REACH and RoHS compliant and exhibits low corrosion for improved electrical contact performance.

Vydyne FR350J exhibits a best-in-class glow wire ignition temperature (GWIT) of 960 C at all thicknesses (up to 3.0 mm) according to the test method IEC 60695-1-13. Finished molded parts tested according to IEC 60335-1 achieved glow-wire end product test values of 750°C at all thicknesses. Vydyne FR350J also achieves PLC 0 ratings in hot wire ignition (HWI) and high amp arc ignition (HAI) tests carried out according to UL 746A.

As MRC wrote previously, in May 2016, Ascend Performance Materials said it had put plans to build a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant on hold because of market conditions. The two-train project at Chocolate Bayou, TX, with a combined capacity of more than 1 million m.t./year of propylene, was expected to become the largest such facility in the United States and cost an estimated USD1.2 billion. It has already been delayed once from the original onstream date of 2016 to mid-2019. Ascend is expected to use the UOP Oleflex PDH technology.

Ascend Performance Materials is a global leader in the production of Nylon 6,6.