Arkema joins World Business Council for Sustainable Development

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema says it has joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), an organization of more than 200 businesses working to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world, reported Chemweek.

Arkema is the latest of a growing list of chemical companies such as BASF, Evonik Industries, DSM, and AkzoNobel that have joined WBCSD.

“More than ever, in a world faced with economic, environmental, and social challenges, our mission as an industrial company is to use our expertise in materials science to facilitate the transition to a sustainable world. Together with other WBCSD partners, we will be able to accelerate this transition and provide innovative solutions that contribute to the sustainable development goals defined by the UN,” says Thierry Le Henaff, chairman and CEO at Arkema.

Arkema adopted a new climate plan, in line with the Paris Agreement, at the beginning of this year, to contribute to a global warming target of “well below 2°C” and reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions 38% by 2030, the company says.

As MRC reported before, Arkema said earlier this week that it has finalized the divestment of its functional polyolefins business to SK Global Chemical. The divestment was announced last year. Arkema says the sale forms part of its strategy to refocus the group’s activities on specialty materials.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 721,290 tonnes in the first four month of 2020, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments grew partially because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 347,440 tonnes in January-April 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Supply exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.

Arkema is a global manufacturer in specialty chemicals and advanced materials, with 3 business segments - High Performance Materials, Industrial Specialties, and Coating Solutions - and globally recognized brands. The Group reports annual sales of EUR8.8 billion. Buoyed by the collective energy of its 20,000 employees, Arkema operates in close to 55 countries.

Solvay and Leonardo sign supply agreement

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay and Leonardo have signed a five-year material supply agreement for programmes across its Aerostructures, Aircraft, Helicopters and Electronics divisions, said Aero-mag.

Solvay will provide a broad range of market leading and innovative materials including thermoset composites CYCOM 977-2 and CYCOM 970, thermoplastic composites APC and APC-2 and SURFACEMASTER 905 adhesives. In addition to material supply, Solvay will partner with Leonardo in multiple R&D initiatives targeting the development of new materials and process technologies.

"We value our strong and longstanding relationship with Leonardo,” said Carmelo Lo Faro, president of Solvay’s Composite Materials Global Business Unit. “With this new agreement we look forward to collaborating with Leonardo as they expand their business in both commercial and defense applications."

As MRC informed earlier, Solvay SA said it will close two plants making composites for Airbus SE and Boeing Co. in a sign the deepening aerospace crisis is hitting suppliers of even the latest aircraft materials. The Belgian chemical maker is adding to savings achieved in the past year following the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max.

As MRC informed earlier, Russia's output of products from polymers grew in April 2020 by 11.2% year on year due to quarantine restrictions. However, this figure increased by 3.4% year on year in the first four months of 2020. According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, April production of unreinforced and non-combined films decreased to 107,000 tonnes from 110,400 tonnes a month earlier. Output of films products grew in the first four months of 2020 by 12.5% year on year to 402,800 tonnes.

New generation food contact silicone emulsion by Dow combines productivity gains and regulatory compliance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow, the world’s leading materials science company, introduces DOWSIL™ 8024 Food Contact Release Emulsion, an innovative waterborne silicone emulsion that brings improved performance levels to food processors and suppliers across a wide range of direct and indirect food contact applications, said the company.

"The global food processing industry is looking for solutions that address three key market needs – flexibility to respond to evolving consumer trends, improved productivity, and safe operations,” said Arturo Cuellar, global market manager for performance chemicals at Dow Consumer Solutions. “DOWSIL™ 8024 Food Contact Release Emulsion meets these needs, as it provides our customers with a distinct set of performance attributes, including low use levels, high release and lubrication efficiency, low volatility, and adheres to major global and regional food contact regulations and certifications to keep operations efficient and customers safe."

Heat-resistant, odorless, non-staining and non-corrosive, DOWSIL™ 8024 Food Contact Release Emulsion enhances performance and brings versatility to the food processing industry as it can be diluted with water to adapt its properties to meet specific customer needs. DOWSIL™ 8024 can be used as a release agent for paper, plastic, and rubber food container parts, as a lubricant for food conveyor and transfer belt, as an anti-blocking agent for paper and plastic sheets, or as an additive in organic-based formulations.

Dow’s technical service and development specialists Tim Roggow and Elodie Raynaud will present the specifics of this novel waterborne silicone emulsion and showcase its performance attributes in direct and indirect food contact applications during a dedicated webinar on Tuesday, June 30 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. Participants are invited to register online.

Dow's solutions for the food processing industry help advance production efficiency and product quality while supporting longer-lasting goods. Our offering includes defoamers, release agents, mold inhibitors, and chelating agents.

As MRC informed earlier, in mid-May 2020, USA based Dow Chemical announced plans to shut three polyethylene (PE) plants in the USA and Argentina to avoid piling inventories amid sluggish global demand conditions due to the COVID-19 related lockdown.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 557,060 tonnes in the first three month of 2020, up by 7% year on year. High density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments rose because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. Demand for LDPE subsided.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene (PS), polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.

Dow combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure and consumer care. Dow operates 109 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 36,500 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $43 billion in 2019. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries.

Trinseo raises June PS, ABS, and SAN prices in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe, have announced a price increase for all polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and acrylonitrile-styrene copolymer (SAN) in Europe, according to the company's press release.

Effective June 1, 2020, or as existing contract terms allow, the contract and spot prices for the products listed below rose as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) -- by EUR85 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech and STYRON X- Tech and STYRON C- Tech high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR85 per metric ton;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR70 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR80 per metric ton.

As MRC informed before, Trinseo raised its prices for all PS grades on 1 May 2020, as stated below:

- STYRON GPPS grades - by EUR10 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech HIPS grades - by EUR10 per metric ton.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, the situation in the Russian polystyrene (PS) market remained the same last week. Some regional suppliers and HIPS and GPPS converters estimate the current decrease in material consumption at 25-30%. Market prices of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's GPPS were still in the range of Rb71,000-74,000/tonne, whereas HIPS prices were at Rb75,000-78,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo's technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015. Trinseo had approximately USD3.8 billion in net sales in 2019, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,700 employees.

China recovery raises hopes for US, Europe polyolefins, says LyondellBasell CEO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bob Patel, LyondellBasell's CEO, says polyolefins demand in China is recovering rapidly from the economic chaos created by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, reported Chemweek.

He is optimistic that both the US and European markets will return at a similar pace, and that the company's capacity utilization could near previous levels by the end of 2020.

"Demand is improving very well in China," Patel said during a webcast this morning with Lyn Tattum, vice president/events at IHS Markit and publisher of Chemical Week. "I read recently that oil consumption in China is back to almost 90% of the pre-pandemic level, and we see that in the demand for our products."

All of LyondellBasell's compounding plants in China are online and ramping up to full production rates, he noted. "So my hope is that the pace of recovery in China is something we can look forward to in Europe and the US as we follow the path China took, plus or minus."

Operating rates at the company's production units are "starting to move up slowly," says Patel. "I would expect that in the second quarter we could average 80% or so in US, and 85-90% in Europe on our cracker and polymer operating rates. I don't think we get back to full operating rates until later this year or perhaps even into Q1. Frankly, if we can retrace back to 90% of where we were before, I think that would be a very good recovery in 2020, and I think that's very possible."

The pandemic, which took grip outside China late in the first quarter, crippled large swaths of the economy, with divergent effects across LyondellBasell's business. Demand into packaging and medical applications, which account for about half of the company's revenue, has been resilient.

"Because of the lockdowns, people are doing more grocery shopping, so packaging has done quite well," says Patel. "And of course for medical applications, like the face masks and the disposable protective gear that healthcare workers wear, that comes from polyethylene and polypropylene, so those have done well."

The company's fuel business, which accounts for about a quarter of revenue, was hit hard. "That business really struggled in April and May with the lockdowns, but we can see that improving already as the miles driven is going up," says Patel.

Demand into automotive and durables, which contribute about a quarter of LyondellBasell's revenue, is lagging. "My guess is that auto and durables will follow, but a little bit later," he states.

Patel says all of LyondellBasell's manufacturing sites have remained online throughout the pandemic, and its Houston, Texas, headquarters staff has begun a phased return to the office. Of the company's roughly 19,000 employees, only 50 were diagnosed with COVID-19, and none of the cases was serious.

As MRC reported earlier, global petrochemical producer LyondellBasell has reduced rates across its system to accommodate lower demand wrought by shutdowns around the globe to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, said the company's CEO Bob Patel. LyondellBasell's overall global petrochemical and refining assets were expected to operate at 60% to 80% of nameplate capacity through the second quarter, Patel said during the company's first-quarter earnings call. European crackers were seen running at 80% to 85%, while US crackers were expected to run at about 75%, he said.

We also remind that to further aid in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, LyondellBasell (LBI) donated a key ingredient to Huntsman Corporation to produce hand sanitizer for US first responders.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 721,290 tonnes in the first four month of 2020, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments grew partially because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 347,440 tonnes in January-April 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Supply exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.

LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its 13,000 employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, and improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road. LyondellBasell sells products into approximately 100 countries and is the world's largest licensor of polyolefin technologies.