Amcor expands global network of innovation centers

Amcor expands global network of innovation centers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Amcor, a global leader in developing and producing responsible packaging, announced plans to build two new state-of-the-art innovation centers. The new facilities in Ghent, Belgium, and Jiangyin, China, will welcome customers as of mid-2022, with full build-out over the next two years, said the company.

The total investment is expected to be approximately USD35 million. The new centers expand the global reach of Amcor’s innovation network, which currently includes flagship sites such as Neenah, Wisconsin, and Manchester, Michigan, in the US, as well as smaller sites around the world. The broader network will allow customers globally to tap into the company’s deep material science expertise and packaging development capabilities.

"Our innovation centers have already become trusted destinations for some of the world’s biggest brands as they work to improve both the sustainability of their products and the overall consumer experience,” said Peter Konieczny, Chief Commercial Officer for Amcor. “We’re excited to expand our global innovation network and remain the growth partner of choice for customers across the world."

"Our innovation and design centers offer customers a unique space to test new ideas and technologies across a variety of materials and formats without disrupting commercial operations,” said William Jackson, Chief Technology Officer for Amcor’s Flexibles business. “Our customers will be able to access our innovation capabilities wherever they are in the world and benefit from a seamless transfer of expertise and knowledge across the network."

Amcor dedicates more than USD100 million annually to its industry-leading research and development activities. The company was the first packaging solutions provider pledging to develop all its products to be recyclable or reusable by 2025 and is on track to meet that commitment.

As per MRC, Amcor announced its support for the launch of the U.S. Plastics Pact’s Roadmap to 2025, an aggressive national strategy for how the U.S. Pact, Amcor and other signatory organizations – known as Activators – will achieve four 2025 targets.

According to MRC's ScanPlast, the estimated PET consumption in the first half of this year amounted to 411,200 tonnes, which is 12% more than the same indicator of the previous year. In June, Russian companies processed 62,910 tonnes of material against 85,890 tonnes a month earlier.

Amcor is a global leader in developing and producing responsible packaging for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, medical, home- and personal-care, and other products. Amcor works with leading companies around the world to protect their products and the people who rely on them, differentiate brands, and improve supply chains through a range of flexible and rigid packaging, specialty cartons, closures, and services. The company is focused on making packaging that is increasingly light-weighted, recyclable and reusable, and made using an increasing amount of recycled content.

China July refinery output down to lowest in months as independent plants cut their production

China July refinery output down to lowest in months as independent plants cut their production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's daily crude throughput last month fell to the lowest since May 2020 as independent plants slashed production amid a tighter quotas, high inventories and weakening profits, reported Reuters.

Last month's processing volumes were 59.06 million tonnes, or 13.9 million barrels per day (bpd), 0.9% below the same month of 2020, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Monday. That was the first year-on-year decline since March last year when coronavirus hammered Chinese fuel demand, and the July level was down 6% from off June's record at 14.8 million bpd.

Total throughput during the first seven months of 2021 reached 412.41 million tonnes, up 8.9% from a year earlier, largely reflecting the economy's recovery from the initial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Volumes fell in July as independent plants scaled back processing in the face of tightening quotas as Beijing stepped up scrutiny of irregular trading of the permits.

“Independent plants were facing tighter feedstock supplies and weakening margins. Some took to overhauls, other cut processing," said Zhou Mi, analyst at Chinese commodities consultancy JLC.

These plants, sometimes known as teapots, operated crude processing capacity at 64.4% in July, down almost 14 percentage points from July 2020, according to JLC.

Throughput could take a further hit this month as a resurgence of coronavirus case in more than a dozen provinces is set to curb mobility.

The NBS data also showed China's crude oil output in July at 16.87 million tonnes, up 2.5% from year-earlier level. Over the first seven this year, output rose 2.4% to 116.21 million tonnes. Natural gas output last month gained 9.8% from a year earlier to 15.8 billion cubic metres (bcm), while January to July production expanded 10.7% to 120.2 bcm.

As MRC informed previously, China's crude oil imports rebounded in July from a six-month low as state-backed refiners ramped up output after returning from maintenance, though independent refineries slowed restocking amid probes by Beijing into trading and taxes.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,176,860 tonnes in the first half of 2021, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 727,160 tonnes in the first six months of 2021, up by 31% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased. Supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.

Lotte Chemical uses BASF stabilizer to deliver high-clarity medical PP for syringes used in COVID-19 vaccinations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lotte Chemical, a major Korean chemical company, has produced the polypropylene (PP) required for medical applications using BASF’s Irgastab, a non-discoloring processing stabilizer. With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations worldwide, the need for syringes made from PP has increased exponentially, as per BASF's press release.

Lotte Chemical’s medical PP has been applied to the LDS (low dead space) syringes developed by a medical syringe manufacturer in South Korea. These specialized products are designed to minimize the amount of a drug left in the device after injection which leads to reduced vaccine wastage. As a result, LDS syringes are in huge demand globally as it is estimated to enable 20% more people to get the dose with the same amount of vaccine.

Plastics used for medical applications require sterilization. This causes degradation and discoloration of the polymer. “Irgastab serves to ensure that medical PP remains safe and suitable for use,” said Hermann Althoff, Senior Vice President, Performance Chemicals Asia Pacific, BASF. “It provides processing stability without discoloration to polypropylene during compounding and injection molding, which is vital for LDS syringes as the materials need to be certified for high-clarity.”

As the need for syringes is expected to explode for the vaccination against COVID-19, Lotte Chemical is expanding the development of special PP materials to ensure strict production quality control of medical materials, including high-clarity PP, and to accommodate the growing needs related to healthcare and safety.

Plastic syringes, and many other medical applications, help to protect human health and safety as one key pillar for a sustainable future. The sustainability benefits of Irgastab also extend to the protection of the environment and valuable resources by shielding plastics in sensitive applications at lower concentrations than alternate solutions.

As MRC reported earlier, in June 2021, Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber, and BASF, the world's petrochemical major, announced the intention to expand their businesses with the production of styrene monomer (SM) based on circular feedstock. Trinseo had procured first supplies of SM based on circular feedstock from BASF for use in its Solution-Styrene Butadiene Rubber (S-SBR) and polystyrene (PS) products. Trinseo supplies S-SBR to major tyre manufacturers while its PS products are used in applications such as food packaging and appliances. The first few customers had already processed the material, said the company.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 727,160 tonnes in the first six months of 2021, up by 31% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased. Supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

NPP "POLYPLASTIC" increased shipments of compounds by 13% in January-June

MOSCOW (MRC) - NPP POLYPLASTIC, the largest Russian manufacturer of thermoplastic composite materials, has increased shipments of compounds by 13% in the first half of the year, the company said.

"Indicators of sales of the trading house Polyplastic, an authorized commission agent of NPP Polyplastic, increased by more than 13% compared to the same period last year, deliveries outside the Russian Federation increased, respectively, by 6.6%," the company said.

In 2021, a Russian compounder entered the Polish market with its materials. The first shipment took place in April, and by the end of the six months a cooperation agreement was signed with one of the leading distributors of this European country.

“In general, we managed to overcome the crisis associated with the shocks at the beginning of the year and a sharp rise in prices for basic raw materials. could, tried to restrain the rise in prices. But they had to be raised due to the dynamics of the increase in the cost of raw materials ", - said the general director of the trading house" Polyplastic "Pavel Kruglov.

Earlier it was reported that RPC "POLYPLASTIC" plans to modernize 50% of production lines by 2025 in terms of automation of the control system and traceability of production process data.

Research and Production Enterprise "POLYPLASTIC" specializes in the production of thermoplastic composite materials and polymer raw materials for processing by injection molding, injection molding and extrusion and occupies a leading position in the Russian market of compounds based on thermoplastics. The company is in the TOP-10 among European compounders. The total production capacity of the enterprise is more than 115,000 tonnes per year.

Huhtamaki acquires Turkish plastic packaging manufacturer Elif Holding

Huhtamaki acquires Turkish plastic packaging manufacturer Elif Holding

MOSCOW (MRC) - Huhtamaki (Finland) has signed an agreement to acquire Turkey's Elif Holding A.S., a major supplier of environmentally friendly flexible packaging, for EUR412 mn (USD483 mn), the company said in a statement.

In a press release, the company notes that the acquisition is in line with the Finnish packaging manufacturer's growth strategy to 2030 in terms of geographic reach, technological capabilities and product mix. This allows Huhtamaki to expand its flexible packaging production capacity in Turkey, which the company considers to be one of the countries with the greatest growth in the future.

The Elif business will become part of the company's Flexible Packaging business segment. Bridging financing for the USD500 mn acquisition of Elif is supported by Citibank, which also acted as a consultant on the transaction.

In addition, the two companies share similar commitments in three areas: environmental, social and corporate, and in supporting their clients to achieve their sustainability goals.

The deal is subject to Turkish antitrust approval and is expected to close after regulatory approval. Both companies will continue to operate as usual until the closure.

Earlier it was reported that Finnish Huhtamaki Flexible Packaging Europe received approval from the European industry group RecyClass (Belgium) for its three new laminated polyethylene tube technologies, developed in collaboration with Czech company Zalesi and toolmaker Plastuni Lisses, part of the Somater Group. Tubes made with this technology from HDPE with easy to apply direct printing have been tested in an independent laboratory.

Founded in 1972, Elif has set a goal by 2025 to develop packaging that is 100% recyclable, recyclable or compostable. The company specializes in high quality environmentally friendly flexible packaging based on recycled polymers in both the post-industrial and consumer sectors.

Elif operates a state-of-the-art system for the collection and disposal of industrial plastic scrap at both its own and customers' premises, and over 90% of the company's current product portfolio is recyclable and the product range also includes compostable films.

In Russia, Khukhtamaki has two production sites - in Ivanteevka (Moscow region) and in Alabuga (Tatarstan), where it produces packaging for the catering sector and packaging for eggs.