PVC imports to Belarus down 0.7% in Jan-Oct 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into Belarus decreased in the first ten months of 2018 by 0.7% year on year, totalling 28,300 tonnes, according to MRC's DataScope report.

According to the Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus, local converters virtually maintained September PVC purchasing volumes - about 2,600 tonnes.

Thus, imports of unmixed PVC rose in the first ten months of 2018 to 28,300 tonnes from 28,500 tonnes a year earlier, with local windows producers accounting for a slight decrease 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 with the share of 6% and 4% were the second and third largest suppliers, respectively.

Sika opened a new production plant in Central America

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sika has opened a new production plant in Central America, located in Palin in the metropolitan area of Guatemala City, as per the company's press-release.

This move further expands the company's market position in the emerging countries of the region. The portfolio of locally manufactured products includes concrete admixtures, mortars, and liquid applied membranes, which will be used to supply the neighboring countries of Honduras and El Salvador as well as the domestic market.

In Palin, Sika has invested in a state-of-the-art plant, and grouped together and expanded its existing business activities in the Guatemala City metropolitan area. New production lines at the site have been installed for mortars and acrylic liquid applied membranes, and existing production lines for concrete admixtures have been relocated and modernized. The new plant and supply center will result in a six-fold increase in overall capacity. The plant is remarkable thanks to the optimum production processes and the logistic efficiency it delivers. Its modular design means it can be enlarged when demand rises. With the integrated R&D laboratories and customer service center, as well as the distribution warehouse, and the expanded production lines, Sika will improve its customer service and the availability of its innovative product range in the region.

Christoph Ganz, Regional Manager Americas: "With the new site, we have created a strategic hub in the region for further expanding our business in Central America – which has around 36 million inhabitants. In particular, we also want to benefit from the planned investments in infrastructure and the transport sector, which will include new facilities for water supply and schools, as well as bridges and roads."

Shell acquires stake in Asia-focused Cleantech Solar

MOSCOW (MRC) - Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to acquire a 49 percent stake in Asia-focused firm Cleantech Solar, the energy giant’s second investment in solar power this year, as per Reuters.

The Anglo-Dutch company will have an option to increase its holding in Cleantech after 2021. The deal is expected to close in January 2019.

Cleantech Solar develops, owns and operates commercial and industrial solar energy systems in Southeast Asia and India that have generated over 100 million megawatt hour units of electricity, it said in a statement.

In January, Shell acquired acquired a stake in U.S. solar company Silicon Ranch Corporation.

Gurit adjusts operating profit guidance for FY 2018 and announces divestment of Composite Components business in 2019

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Swoss Gurit, a worldwide leading developer and manufacturer of advanced composite materials, components and technologies, has announced a revaluation of its operating profit potential for fiscal year 2018 and both restructuring and divestment of Composite Components business in 2019, as per MarketScreener.

Operating profit margin for the full year 2018 is now expected to come in at 6.5-7.5 % of net sales.

Based on the recent business performance with continued losses in the Composite Components business, the Company revises its operating profit guidance down from the previously communicated mid-level of the 8-10% target range to an expected 6.5-7.5% operating profit margin range for the full year 2018. This is caused by higher losses and restructuring expenses in Composite Components compared to what was expected at half year 2018.

Without the losses in Composite Components, Gurit would have exceeded the margin guidance range of 8-10% in CY 2018 in its continued business.

Gurit has decided to restructure the Composite Components business and to concentrate the component manufacturing in Hungary in 2019. Moreover a divestment process for Composite Components has been initiated.

As MRC informed before, in June 2017, Gurit announced that it had renewed its distribution agreement with Maricell S.r.l., an Italian producer of closed-cell PVC structural foam. Under the terms of the agreement, Gurit will continue to distribute all Maricell PVC globally until December 31, 2020, with further extension options.

The companies of Gurit Holding AG, Wattwil/Switzerland, (SIX Swiss Exchange: GUR) are specialized on the development and manufacture of advanced composite materials, related technologies and select finished parts and components. The comprehensive product range comprises fibre reinforced prepregs, structural core products, gel coats, adhesives, resins and consumables. Gurit supplies global growth markets with composite materials on the one hand and composite tooling equipment, core material wind turbine blade kits, structural engineering and select finished parts on the other. The global Group has production sites and offices in Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain, the U.K., Turkey, Canada, the U.S.A., Ecuador, New Zealand, India and China.

DUNA-USA expands manufacturing facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- DUNA-USA (Baytown, TX, US), which specializes in the research and development of customized polyurethane and epoxy systems, has completed a multi-year, multi-million dollar expansion of its headquarters and manufacturing facility, as per Compositesworld.

The expansion, which began in fall 2016, includes the addition of a new manufacturing building and new office building, as well as a proprietary automated fabrication department (including a 5-axis CNC machine and robotic warehouse), and an additional continuous polyurethane production line.

DUNA-USA manufactures polyurethane and polyisocyanurate foams, as well as custom systems for the aerospace, automotive, insulation, marine and construction industries. Standard applications for rigid materials include cold chain, LNG insulation, composite layup tooling, thermoforming, signmaking and CAD verification tooling. Pourable applications include pipe supports, core materials, and design elements for theming and scenic applications.