Kraiburg TPE scores a victory with the first Thai brush

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thailand’s leading manufacturer of toothbrushes and household brushes is committed to producing toothbrushes of the highest quality. For this reason, The First Thai Brush Co., Ltd. has chosen a high-quality thermoplastic elastomer from Kraiburg TPE to enhance the ergonomics and functionality of its Victory toothbrush product lines with a soft-touch grip, as per Kraiburg's press release.

Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) have become important components in the manufacture of consumer products. When The First Thai Brush decided to redesign the handle of its Victory toothbrushes, they were looking for a flexible material with food-contact approval, superior design freedom and efficient processability, including compatibility with other plastics in a co-molding process that would not require a bonding agent to ensure long-term adhesion.

Moreover, ergonomics are key when it comes to designing high-quality functional toothbrushes. The use of an elastomeric material for the brush handle provides a pleasant soft-touch and non-slip grip which helps users achieve optimal cleaning motion with less pressure.

In close collaboration with Kraiburg TPE, The First Thai Brush selected a high-transparency food-contact grade from the THERMOLAST K range of consumer care compounds that also delivers a smooth silky surface finish and offers the perfect balance between flexibility and hardness to obtain the desired haptics.

In addition, the material combines high flowability and excellent adhesion to polar thermoplastics, such as PC, ABS and PETG, with superb colorability for versatile promotional effects. Together, these properties offered The First Thai Brush virtually unlimited possibilities in design, form and function to communicate the unique features of its Victory toothbrushes and enhance the experience of consumers.

"Beyond the right material, the success of any product greatly depends on smooth development and fast time-to-market," says Kit Tae, Deputy Managing Director of The First Thai Brush. "Apart from assisting us in the selection of the most suitable compound for this application, Kraiburg TPE took on our challenges as their own and went the extra mile to support us with their expertise throughout the entire project. Thanks to their high material quality and service standards, we were able to speed the innovation of our product and keep our competitive edge in the market."

As MRC wrote before, in December 2017, Kraiburg TPE presented a new series of thermoplastic elastomers from its Thermolast K family that was specially developed for excellent adhesion and UV resistance in two-component applications with ethylene-propylene-diene rubber (EPDM). The new compounds are intended for automotive applications such as EPDM window trim and sealing profiles with moulded TPE corner joints and end elements.

Kraiburg Rubber (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. was established in 2005 and is part of the Waldkraiburg-based German company Kraiburg Holding GmbH & Co. KG. The company produces a wide range of standard rubber compounds (based on NR, EPDM, CR, AEM, SBR, FKM, etc.) for automotive, building and construction applications, and other industrial markets as well as highly customised products for all kinds of industries at its Suzhou site. The compounds are produced on highly automated and fully process-controlled mixing lines, based on state-of-the-art technology. The company has 130 employees.

ExxonMobil signs Framework Agreement for Proposed Chemical Complex in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil said that it has signed a cooperation framework agreement with the Guangdong Provincial People’s Government to advance discussions concerning the proposed construction of a chemical complex in the Huizhou Dayawan Petrochemical Industrial Park, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The new facility would help meet expected demand growth for chemical products in China.

The multibillion-dollar project, which remains subject to a final investment decision, would include a 1.2 million-tons-per-year ethylene flexible feed steam cracker, two performance polyethylene lines and two differentiated performance polypropylene lines. ExxonMobil’s decision to proceed with the project will be based on a number of factors, including receipt of permits and project competitiveness. Startup is planned for 2023.

"Our agreement with the Guangdong Provincial Government demonstrates ExxonMobil’s interest in advancing this project from concept to completion," said John Verity, president of the ExxonMobil Chemical Company. "We value the government’s support and its experience in moving such a large-scale project forward."

The new complex would rely on advanced proprietary technologies in direct crude steam cracking and performance polymers manufacturing. It would support progress toward China’s national petrochemical development priorities, which include self-sufficiency, diversified feedstock sources, rebalancing fuels versus chemicals and advancing new competitive technology. The framework agreement also confirms Guangdong Province’s support in progressing the Huizhou LNG receiving terminal, in which ExxonMobil intends to participate, including supply of LNG.

The company is also evaluating other chemicals manufacturing projects in Asia to help meet expected demand growth in the region. ExxonMobil expects to grow chemicals manufacturing capacity in Asia Pacific and North America by about 40 percent. That growth will be achieved in part by adding 13 new facilities, including two world-class steam crackers in the United States that are part of the company’s Growing the Gulf initiative. These investments would enable the company to meet increasing demand in Asia and other growing markets.

The company recently commenced operations at its new 1.5 million ton-per-year ethane cracker at the company’s integrated Baytown chemical and refining complex in Texas. ExxonMobil and SABIC have also created a new joint venture to advance development of the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project, a 1.8 million tonne ethane cracker currently planned for construction in San Patricio County, Texas. The facility will also include a monoethylene glycol unit and two polyethylene units.

ExxonMobil’s downstream and chemical businesses both have a presence in China, and the company operates primarily through its Shanghai-based ExxonMobil (China) Investment Co. Ltd. affiliate. The company is also a joint venture partner with Sinopec, Fujian Province and Saudi Aramco in China’s first integrated refining and petrochemical facility to include international participation.

ExxonMobil is committed to social investment where it operates and supports programs that focus on the environment, health and education.

ExxonMobil and Sabic have collaborated on several petrochemical JVs in Saudi Arabia, including the Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company and Saudi Yanbu Petrochemical Company. Most recently, the companies constructed world-scale specialty elastomers facilities at the Al-Jubail joint venture complex to help meet the growing demand for rubber-based industrial and automotive products.

PVC imports to Belarus rose by 5% in January-July

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into Belarus rose in the first seven months of 2018 by 5% year on year to about 19,900 tonnes, according to MRC's DataScope report.

According to the Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus, local converters kept practically June level of PVC purchasing in July 2018, overall imports totalled about 2,900 tonnes.

Thus, imports of unmixed PVC grew in January-July 2018 to 19,900 tonnes from 18,900 tonnes a year earlier, with local windows producers accounting for the main increase in demand.

Russian producers with the share of about 88% of the Belarusian market were the key suppliers of resin to Belarus over the stated period.
Producers from Ukraine and Germany were the second and third largest suppliers, respectively.


SABIC signs MOU with Clariant outlining intended transaction

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC, the world’s third largest diversified petrochemicals company, has announced that it is taking steps to establish certain elements of its Specialties business as a stand-alone business, as per the company's press release.

The strategic purpose of this is to prepare the Specialties business to participate in further organic and inorganic growth, including a transaction under discussion with Clariant AG, for which both companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU would enable Clariant to create a new, "High Performance Materials" specialty chemicals business as an exceptional global platform for growth.

The process to create SABIC’s stand-alone Specialties business is anticipated to take until the end of 2019. Then, if the transaction with Clariant proceeds, parts of SABIC’s Specialties business - comprising its unique ULTEM and NORYL resins, and its families of LNP compounds and copolymers - would be merged with Clariant’s additives and high value masterbatch offerings, as part of the Clariant group, making Clariant a uniquely positioned and competitively advantaged provider of customer-specific high performance materials and solutions in the specialty chemicals industry, headquartered in Switzerland and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

Yousef Al-Benyan, Vice Chairman and CEO, said, "The establishment of SABIC Specialties as a stand-alone business, together with the MOU with Clariant, represent part of SABIC's long-term growth and diversification strategy. SABIC has a long and strong track record of growing businesses through joint ventures and co-investment in both listed and private companies. Uncoupling the Specialties business will allow the unit to achieve accelerated organic and inorganic growth as aligned with our broader corporate strategy of creating a sizeable, world class Specialties company while creating additional value for our shareholders, customers and talented employees."

Al-Benyan continued, "For many years, SABIC and Clariant have created value for our respective shareholders from our close commercial ties. We will now seek to further develop this strategic relationship at the highest levels of both companies to create a leading provider of tailored specialty materials and technologies for the benefit of both companies’ stakeholders and the advancement of the specialties industry."

"Clariant and SABIC's existing Specialties business are complementary, and the investment in Clariant, together with the intended combination of portions of our respective specialty businesses, is well aligned with SABIC's strategy to open new growth opportunities in specialty chemicals," Al-Benyan noted.

This announcement follows the recent regulatory approvals of SABIC’s acquisition of its 24.99% interest in Clariant, making SABIC the Swiss specialty chemicals company’s largest shareholder. SABIC currently has no plans to launch or otherwise effect a full takeover of Clariant AG.

Following completion of the intended transaction, Clariant would form a new "High Performance Materials" business area as an exceptional global platform for growth. This platform, together with anticipated cost synergies and operating efficiencies, aims to increase value for both companies’ stakeholders. The intended transaction would unlock the value of both companies’ specialties offerings. The intended transaction is envisaged to be signed during 2019 and to close at the beginning of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals.

SABIC’s Specialties materials can be found in applications for smart electronics, healthcare, aerospace, automotive, robotics, additive manufacturing, and e-mobility. Each area of focus demands adherence to stringent customer specifications in demanding thermo-electro-mechanical environments, as well as the ability to meet regulatory requirements, which can only be fulfilled with unique technologies and formulation know-how.

As MRC wrote before, in January 2018, SABIC, a world leader in chemicals, agreed to acquire approximately 83 million shares in Clariant from 40 North and Corvex Management.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints. Clariant India has local masterbatch production activities at Rania, Kalol and Nandesari (Gujarat) and Vashere (Maharashtra) sites in India.

Swiss polymer suppliers Rehau, MB Barter merging into USD2.5 billion business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Rehau, a family-owned supplier of polymer-based solutions to the construction and automotive industries headquartered in Muri, Switzerland, has announced plans to acquire polymer distributor MB Barter & Trading AG, also of Switzerland, for an undisclosed amount, said Canplastics.

The deal, which is expected to close before the end of this year, will create a new, independent company with a volume of USD2.5 billion, Rehau said in a statement. The transaction includes Rehau GmbH in Muri bei Bern, Switzerland, as well as the worldwide subsidiaries of the MB Barter & Trading Group.

MB Barter is a global distributor of commodity polymers, PET, and rubber globally. The company has 30 offices worldwide.

"Decades of Rehau’s experience in materials, processes and applications [will combine] with the relevant trading and distribution expertise of MB Barter & Trading, with 30 locations worldwide, its reputation as a highly reliable full-service provider and its established relationships with suppliers and customers," Rehau said in its statement.

The name of the new company has not yet been announced.