Lanxess to build new prepolymers production facility in Brazil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lanxess’s Urethane Systems business unit will make an investment on prepolymer production that is expected to be in the single-digit million euros, but the exact figure has not been disclosed, as per Chemicals-technology.

The new facility is expected to become operational in the first half of next year. Once the new facility becomes operational, the existing prepolymer production facility at the Rio Claro site will be terminated, and Lanxess will manage its entire polyurethane business for South America from Porto Feliz.

Urethane Systems business unit head Dr Markus Eckert said: "South America is an important cornerstone of our global network and we are committed to the Brazilian and South American markets. "Our investment will enable us to sustainably offer local customer-specific technical service, excellent product quality, and fast and reliable product supply."

"Our new investment will enable us to sustainably offer local customer-specific technical service, excellent product quality, and fast and reliable product supply."

Lanxess Urethane Systems business unit is a systems provider to the global polyurethane (PU) market and has its expertise in cast elastomers, coatings, adhesives and sealants.

Its portfolio includes conventional and low free isocyanate prepolymers, and special aqueous polyurethane dispersions (PUDs).

Additionally, Lanxess Urethane Systems business unit offers catalysts and curing agents for cast elastomers, as well as technologies for coatings, adhesives and sealants.

The business unit also focuses on solvent-free, monomer-free, and easy-to-use blocked systems.

Lanxess Urethane Systems has production facilities and application development centres in Brazil, India, China, Australia, Italy, the UK, and US.

Canada plastic packaging recycling rate rises again

MOSCOW (MRC) -- With access to plastic recycling programs nearing 100% in Canada, the nation’s recycling rate for plastic packaging increased by almost 1% in 2016 compared to 2015, a new study shows, as per Canplastics.

Conducted by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), the new report – called Post-Consumer Plastics Recycling in Canada – found that the increase in 2016 of 0.9% was the result of more plastic packaging collected, specifically PET bottles (№1), PE clear film and PE agricultural film.

In total, at least 325 million kilograms of post-consumer (including commercial) plastic packaging were collected in Canada for recycling, the study found.

The 2016 Post Consumer Plastics Recycling in Canada study was conducted for CPIA by More Recycling, and drew on results derived from two voluntary surveys that were sent out to more than 1000 companies that handle recycled plastics in North America. These companies comprise reclaimers, exporters, brokers, and other handlers of used plastics.

This new information comes following a CPIA report completed earlier this year that the network of recycling programs across Canada for plastic packaging has almost fully matured. More Canadians can recycle a wider range of plastic bottles and non-bottle plastic packaging, according to CPIA’s 2017 Canadian Residential Plastics Packaging: Recycling Program Access Report.

The access report confirmed that nearly every Canadian household continues to be able to recycle PET and HDPE (№2) plastic beverage containers (98% to 100%) and that access to recycling for other PET and HDPE bottles, jugs, and jars remains consistent at 94% to 96%. But in addition, tracking shows that recycling recovery programs are expanding collection for polystyrene (PS). The number of Canadian households that now has access to recycling programs that accept PS rigid packaging such as clear clamshells has increased to 71%, up from 63% in 2014.

ORBIS Corp. reorganizes U.S. manufacturing facilities

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ORBIS Corp., a manufacturer of plastic recycling bins and organic barrels, is cutting a total of more than 70 jobs at two sites as the company reorganizes operations in a handful of locations, as per Canplastics.

ORBIS will move the dunnage manufacturing capabilities from its Perrysburg, Ohio, plant to other plants within its manufacturing fleet. This affects about 70 jobs in Perrysburg. The transition is anticipated to be completed on or around Nov. 15, 2018.

ORBIS said that it will maintain a presence in Perrysburg to operate a design and collaboration centre for customer interaction. “This space will be used for product design, customer support and program management,” the company said. “About 15 employees will remain in Perrysburg."

Also, ORBIS’ thin-gauge thermoforming facility in Dearborn, Mich., will be consolidated into other manufacturing facilities, affecting seven employees. The transition is anticipated to be completed on or around Dec. 15, 2018.

ORBIS currently operates a sales and design office in Madison Heights, Mich., to provide parts packaging design and support for automotive companies. ORBIS will combine this office with the newly acquired Auburn Hills, Mich. office and create a larger, collaborative space for sales and design associates to meet with customers, present concepts and finalize packaging designs. "Employees will transition to the new, combined location,” the company said. “Timing of this move has yet to be finalized."

Finally, ORBIS will utilize its newly acquired Piedmont, S.C. facility to house its southeast ORBIShield Innovation Center, currently located in Spartanburg, S.C. “This Innovation Center provides design, prototyping and packaging support services to southeast U.S. automotive companies,” ORBIS said. “Spartanburg employees will transition to the Piedmont location, and the timing has yet to be determined."

The reorganization comes during a busy time for ORBIS. Last month, the company acquired Hinkle Manufacturing of Perrysburg, Ohio; Hinkle serves the automotive market with highly engineered custom dunnage designed for part protection. And in April 2018, ORBIS purchased Piedmont, S.C.-based Response Packaging, a manufacturer and supplier of reusable custom dunnage and fabricated rack solutions.

ORBIS is headquartered in Oconomowoc, Wis. The company has an injection molding plant in Toronto.

Arkema plans to double production capacities at Beaumont Thiochemicals site in the USA

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema confirms a detailed investment review, with its partner Novus International, Inc., to double production capacities at Arkema’s Beaumont Thiochemicals site in the United States, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This project will support the strong global growth in the animal nutrition market and further strengthens Arkema’s world-leading position in high value-added sulfur derivatives.

Arkema is reviewing in detail, with its partner Novus, the doubling of production capacities at its Beaumont site in Texas to supply high value-added sulfur derivatives for the new methionine hydroxy analogue production unit announced by Novus at the end of 2017 at a site in Calhoun County, Texas.

This project would support the strong annual growth of the global demand for methionine, an essential amino acid for animal nutrition, which should reach 6% over the coming years.

Subject to a final decision on this investment, expected to be made at the end of 2018, the new units should come on stream by the summer of 2021.

Arkema thus confirms its technological leadership in thiochemical processes and its ambition to strengthen its world-leading position in sulfur derivatives.

This project is part of Arkema’s long-term ambition announced by the Group at its 2017 Capital Markets Day and would represent a milestone in the Group’s future growth.

As MRC reported before, in late January 2017, Arkema announced a project for the sale to INEOS of its 50% stake in Oxochimie. Arkema produced oxo alcohols on the Lavera site (France) in a 50/50 manufacturing joint venture with INEOS. These products were used in part for the production of the group’s acrylic esters in Europe.

We also remind that on 2 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 confirmed its ambition to become a world leader in specialty chemicals and advanced materials. Bostik's growth prospects and the complementarities identified between the two groups will sustain the success of this high value creating project.

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

Sibur says new gas chemical complex will cost up to USD8 bln

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian petrochemical company Sibur said its plans to build a gas chemical complex in Russia's Far East will require preliminary investments of up to USD8 billion and it is still looking for Asian partners, reported Reuters.

Sibur said a year ago that it had been in talks with a number of Chinese investors about participating in the project to build the complex in Amur.

Sibur's Chief Executive Officer Dmitry Konov told Reuters in a recent interview, that the company, Russia's largest petrochemicals company, was still talking to investors, without giving details on their progress.

"We look at the implementation of the Amur complex as a joint venture, that's why the investments will be shared among the partners," Konov said.

He estimated preliminary investments in the Amur complex at USD7 billion-USD8 billion.

The plant will be built to serve Asian markets as part of a broader plan by Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom to supply gas to China.

Gazprom will supply the complex with around 2 million tonnes of ethane per year.

The plant will also enable Sibur to diversify into Asia.

"The location of the Far Eastern project is not usual for us," Konov said. "At the moment, our supplies to Asia are not that big. That's why we see benefits in Asian partners."

Sibur said last year that it had been in talks with China's Sinopec, which holds a 10 percent stake in Sibur, about investment in the project. A spokeswoman for Sibur declined to comment on Friday on whether Sinopec might invest in the project.

Konov said in March that a final decision on investments would be taken next year.

Sibur expects the plant to start operating after 2024, following the launch of Gazprom's own gas processing plant, also called Amur, which will process the gas before it is exported to China. Sibur's complex will produce different forms of ethylene from the gas supplied by Gazprom's plant.

Sibur currently mainly serves clients in the former Soviet Union, although its polymer exports are set to rise with the launch of a USD9 billion plant in Tobolsk in Western Siberia by 2020.

Sibur also has been in talks with Saudi Aramco to set up a venture to produce synthetic rubber, a move highlighting growing cooperation between OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and Russia, the biggest non-OPEC oil exporter.

Businessman Leonid Mikhelson, the head of and a major shareholder in Russia's largest gas producer Novatek, owns 48.5 percent of Sibur. His business partner Gennady Timchenko owns 17 percent, while China's Sinopec and Silk Fund control 10 percent each.

Once the Amur and Tobolsk plants are up and running, Sibur will cut exports of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), the feed stock for petrochemicals production.

Analysts forecast production in the former Soviet Union of basic polymers, such as polyethylene and polypropylene, will more than double to 9.6 million tonnes per year by 2024, from 4 million tonnes in 2017.

Demand for basic polymers in the former Soviet Union is expected to rise to 5.3 million tonnes, from 4 million tonnes.

SIBUR is a uniquely positioned vertically integrated gas processing and petrochemicals company. We own and operate Russia’s largest gas processing business in terms of associated petroleum gas processing volumes and are a leader in the Russian petrochemicals industry. As of 31 March 2014, SIBUR operated 27 production sites located all over Russia, had over 1,400 large customers engaged in the energy, chemical, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), automotive, construction and other industries in approximately 70 countries worldwide and employed over 27,000 personnel.