Wacker cooperates with Dynaplak on producing sustainable binders

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker is to collaborate with Dynaplak, the Dutch manufacturer of biobased raw materials for agricultural and industrial applications, said the producer on its site.

Together, the two companies want to develop hybrid binders based on starch and polymers. The first products for interior wall paints are scheduled for market launch in the first quarter of 2019. Wacker is thereby responding to the growing demand for sustainable binders in the paint and coatings industry.

"Our partnership with Dynaplak lays the foundations for increasing our contribution to more sustainability in the binders market. We will be one of the first chemical companies to expand our portfolio with products based partially on renewable raw materials," explains Dominique Nely, who manages WACKER's binders for consumer goods and industrial applications in western Europe. "In the first phase, we will focus on interior paints - where demand for ecological alternatives to petroleum-based binders is growing strongly."

Dynaplak’s biobased technology together with Wacker’s decades of experience in manufacturing polymer-based binders will result in hybrid starch and polymer-based binders. The starch is a side-stream product from potato processing. Koos Slor, managing director of Dynaplak, says: "In our production process, we utilize starch that would otherwise be lost. Our innovative technology increases the functionality of conventional starch, enhancing its performance." In an emulsified form, starch reveals its properties and helps to tie together components of a paint, such as pigments and fillers. "By partnering with WACKER, our sustainable products will also be available to customers from the paints and coatings industry," Slor continues.

In technical terms, hybrid binders meet the high-quality standards for WACKER products. "We want to act in an ecologically responsible way, while continuing to offer our customers outstanding product quality," explains Nely. The new binders will be manufactured at the Dynaplak site in Veendam in the Netherlands and are part of Wacker's new VINNECO line. It will present the first products from this line at the European Coatings Show 2019.

As MRC wrote previously, in November 2017, Wacker Chemie AG announced that it is expanding its existing production plants for dispersions and dispersible polymer powders in South Korea. The Group is building a new spray dryer for dispersible polymer powders at its Ulsan site, which will have a total capacity of 80,000 metric tons per year. The Munich-based chemicals company is also constructing an additional reactor for dispersions based on vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (EVA), which are needed as the raw material for the spray dryer to produce dispersible polymer powders. Ulsan’s plant complex, which covers the entire production chain from VAE dispersions to dispersible polymer powders, will be one of the largest of its kind in the world. Investments will total around EUR60 million and production is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2019.

Dynaplak is an innovative Dutch developer and manufacturer of biobased product solutions with an extensive track record in agricultural and industrial applications. Dynaplak creates new biobased high-performance alternatives for traditional petrochemical based products, thereby providing the marked with sustainable choices.

Wacker Chemie AG is a worldwide operating company in the chemical business, founded 1914. The company is controlled by the Wacker-family holding more than 50 percent of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The product range includes silicone rubbers, polymer products like ethylene vinyl acetate redispersible polymer powder, chemical materials, polysilicon and wafers for semiconductor industry.

PP production in Russia dropped by 2.6% in January-November 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's overall production of polypropylene (PP) fell in January-November 2018 by 2.6% year on year, totalling about 1.239,800 mln tonnes. At the same time, only two Russian producers from seven ones decreased their PP output, according to MRC ScanPlast report.

November output of polypropylene by local producers increased to 91,100 tonnes compared with 75,700 tonnes in October, at the same time problems at some plants remained. Russia's overall PP production reached 1.239,800 mln tonnes in the first eleven months of 2018, compared to 1 273,400 mln tonnes a year earlier. At the same time, only SIBUR Tobolsk and Ufaorgsintez reduced the operating time, while other producers managed to improve their output.

The structure of PP production by plants looked the following way over the stated period.

Sibur Tobolsk had to cut capacity utilisation in November due to the problems with propylene, total polypropylene production reached 18,700 tonnes against 8,400 tonnes in October. The Tobolsk plant's total PP production reached 389,400 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2018, down by 16% year on year. The decline in production was a result of two shutdowns for scheduled maintenances this year.

Omsk Poliom (Titan) in November produced about 17,600 tonnes compared to 11,600 tonnes a month earlier; the plant shut PP production capacities 10 days turnaround in the early October. Total PP production at the plant over the reported period was about 195,200 tonnes, up 4% year on year.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim produced 17,800 tonnes of propylene polymers in November versus 18,800 tonnes a month earlier. The producer's PP output increased to 197,300 tonnes in January-November 2018 compared with 193,300 tonnes year on year.

Tomskneftekhim last month produced about 12,400 tonnes against 12,800 tonnes a month earlier. The plant in the ten months 2018 produced 128,900 tonnes, practically the same as in 2017.

Ufaorgsintez's PP output increased to about 9,700 tonnes in November from 3,500 tonnes a month earlier, the producer shut down its production capacities for a month long turnaround on 20 September and in the early November due to the problems with the feedstock.
Overall output of polymer at the Ufa plant rose to 107,900 tonnes in January-November 2018, compared to 113,500 tonnes a year earlier.

Neftekhimiya (Kapotnya) last month produced about 10,200 tonnes of PP, compared with 11,900 tonnes in October. The plant's overall PP output reached 121,200 tonnes over the stated period, up 28% year on year. A low indicator of the current year was a result of a long scheduled maintenance works in March-April.

Stavrolen (LUKOIL) last month shut its capacity utilisation for a short maintenance works in November, total polypropylene production had dropped to 7,600 tonnes against 8,700 tonnes in October. Overall production of propylene polymers at the Budenovsk plant reached 99,900 tonnes in the first ten months of 2018 against 92,300 tonnes year on year.


Recitel divests from its Proseat JV in two steps

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Recticel announces that it has entered into final agreements whereby it will first acquire the remaining 49% in its Proseat joint venture from its Canadian partner Woodbridge Foam Corporation, and subsequently sell 75% in Proseat to Japanese public company Sekisui Plastics Co., Ltd., as per the company's press release.

The new joint venture between Sekisui (75%) and Recticel (25%) will allow Proseat to build on its leading position as Europe’s largest independent automotive moulded seat foam manufacturer and to further expand its customer base and its product portfolio.

The agreement between Recticel and Sekisui contains a call option for Sekisui Plastics Co., Ltd. to acquire the remaining 25% in Proseat from Recticel as from 2019, and a put option for Recticel to sell its remaining 25% in Proseat to Sekisui as from 2022, at pre-agreed price calculation formulae.

Under the terms of these agreements, the Proseat Joint Venture has been valued at an enterprise value of 8.4x
the average (2016-2018F) EBITDA. The transaction will have no material effect on Recticel’s results.

Olivier Chapelle, CEO states: "We are satisfied with this overall transaction, which enables Recticel to execute an important step of its strategy, and to increase its focus on its core activities. Recticel is also happy to welcome Sekisui as a majority shareholder of Proseat, Sekisui providing to Proseat clear customer and product portfolio complementariies. We are confident that it will create exciting opportunities for Proseat and all its stakeholders in the future. We also want to warmly thank Woodbridge for the 20 years of fruitful cooperation with Recticel as co-
shareholders of Proseat."

Both transactions (i.e. Recticel/Woodbridge and Recticel/Sekisui Plastics Co. Ltd) are expected to be closed in the course of the first quarter of 2019, and are subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
As from the Closing Date, Recticel will no longer include Proseat’s sales and results pro rata in its combined accounts, but will apply the equity method, as was the case already for its consolidated accounts.

As MRC wrote before, in August 2017, Recticel announced that its Insulation division plans to invest about EUR 23 million in a new greenfield production site in Finland.

Proseat was established in 1999 as a joint venture between Recticel (51%) and Woodbridge (49%) with the purpose to serve Tier 1 and OEM car manufacturers with moulded seat pads and head-& armrests in polyurethane. Later the joint venture developed complementary activities in lightweight EPP (expanded polypropylene) structural parts for the same automotive sector. The joint venture is active in Europe, headquartered in Morfelden (Germany),
and operates eight manufacturing sites located in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the
United Kingdom and employs approximately 2,100 people in total. Proseat realized sales of EUR291million in 2017.

Alpla abd Fromm Plastics expand PET recycling partnership

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Since July 2018, ALPLA and FROMM have been successfully working together in PET recycling. Another extrusion line at the Texplast site in Wolfen will increase the capacity for food-safe PET regranulate by 15,000 tonnes each year - material that ALPLA will return to the recyclable material cycle in Europe, and in Germany in particular, as per ALPLA's press release.

Austrian packaging solutions specialist ALPLA and German recycling company Texplast, a subsidiary of FROMM Plastics, are benefitting from working together. Over the past few months, they have managed to greatly stabilise the quantity and quality of the raw materials for the production operations of both partners.

Texplast is now investing in a third extrusion line and will increase its annual capacity for food-safe PET regranulate by 15,000 tonnes to an approximate total of 27,000 tonnes. For the expansion, Texplast is currently building a new hall at the company site in Wolfen. The facility is expected to become operational in April 2019, and according to Texplast, around 4.5 million euros have been invested.

"The demand for recycled plastics is continuously increasing. In order to provide our clients with the amounts needed, we must step up our recycling activities. With Texplast as a partner, we have access to high-quality recyclable material in the German market," says Georg Lasser, Head of Recycling at ALPLA, "We are also securing ourselves expertise and experience in logistics and using the existing network with food retail."

With optimised logistics, Texplast brings returnable bottles to the recycling plant via the shortest routes possible and thereby keeps its carbon footprint as small as possible, highlights Matthias Schafer, Texplast representative, "By collaborating with ALPLA, we have closed the bottle cycle: We recycle the returnable goods from the food retail industry and turn them into high-quality, food-safe granulate from which ALPLA produces preforms for new PET beverage bottles. The colourful flakes created in the process are used by FROMM for its in-house strap production."

As MRC informed before, in November 2017, US-based Alpha Packaging acquired a plant in Etten-Leur, the Netherlands, from Graham Packaging Co. as part of its bid to support growth in Europe.

ALPLA is one of the leading plastic packaging companies. Around 19,300 employees produce tailored packaging systems bottles, fasteners and injection moulding parts at 176 sites in 45 countries. The scope of application of the quality packaging is vast: food and beverages, cosmetics and care products, household detergents, washing and cleaning products, pharmaceuticals, engine oil and lubricants. ALPLA has its own recycling plants: PET Recycling Team with sites in Austria and Poland, and in Mexico as part of a joint venture. The FROMM/Texplast collaboration has existed since July 2018.

The FROMM Group is a globally leading company for cargo safety systems and has a company history dating back over 70 years. More than 1,200 employees develop, produce and distribute tailored packaging solutions with around 40 companies on six continents: FROMM has production sites in Italy, Germany, the USA, Thailand, Chile and Slovakia.

Texplast GmbH is a 100% subsidiary of FROMM Plastics GmbH in Kolleda. With almost 100 employees and an input capacity of over 50,000 tonnes of bottles per year, the company is one of the leading recyclers of PET, particularly used beverage bottles, in Western Europe. Texplast manufactures flakes for use in the plastics industry, as well as regranulate for the production of food packaging. FROMM specialises in straps, air-cushion packaging and stretch wrap, as well as the associated machines and appliances.

Reliance shuts Hazira PVC plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is rumoured to have undertaken an unplanned shutdown at its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant in Hazira, as per Apic-online with reference to market sources.

A Polymerupdate source in India informed that the company has taken the plant off-line earlier this week owing to technical issues. The unplanned outage is expected to remain in force for around two weeks.

Polymerupdate team members attempted to reach out to company officials to confirm the rumour. However, there was no official response confirming the shutdown.

Located at Hazira in the western Indian state of Gujarat, the plant has a production capacity of 360,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed earlier, RIL undertook planned shutdown at its anouther PVC plant last year. The company commenced turnaround at its plant in late May, 2017, and the facility remained off-line for around 3 weeks. As per earlier plans, the plant was supposed to be shut in mid-May 2017. Located at Dahej in Gujarat, India, the plant has a production capacity of 315,000 mt/year.

Reliance Industries is one of the world's largest producers of polymers. The company produces polypropylene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride and other petrochemical products.