Kraton expands AMS resin capacity in France

Kraton expands AMS resin capacity in France

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kraton Corporation, a leading global sustainable producer of specialty polymers and high-value biobased products derived from pine wood pulping co-products, announces a significant investment in its Alpha Methyl Styrene (AMS) Resins facility in Niort, France, said the company.

Kraton expects the investment will result in a 15% production increase at the Niort manufacturing facility by 2023. In addition to the capacity increase, Kraton anticipates the investment will lead to a 70% reduction in solvent consumption, creating a favorable impact on the product life cycle by the end of 2022.

Kraton's AMS Resins, also known as Pure Monomer Resins, are sold in high-end applications such as Tread Enhancement Additives for premium tires and as high-performance tackifying resins in fast-growing adhesive markets. Kraton's SYLVATRAXX™ Tread Enhancement Additives improve the overall performance of tire treads in terms of wet grip, low rolling resistance, and durability, thus enabling safer driving, better fuel efficiency and range. Due to increasingly stringent car emission standards across the globe, these high-performance additives have seen substantial demand growth.

"The rise in Electric Vehicles (EV) also contributes to this growth, as the increased EV weight and higher torque bring new challenges in tire performance," said Torsten Schmidt, Vice President of Commercial, Kraton Pine Chemicals. "Our SYLVATRAXX products continue to gain popularity across the entire tire value chain as they enable our customers to meet these new requirements."

In recent years, Kraton has made significant investments in AMS Resins at the manufacturing facility in Niort, resulting in added operational capacity and improved asset reliability. As customer demand increases, the new growth project focuses on advancing production efficiencies while improving the site's environmental footprint.

In parallel with the current expansion projects, Kraton is exploring additional manufacturing expansion opportunities at the Niort plant beyond the 2023 horizon.

As per MRC, Kraton Corporation announced its CirKular+ performance enhancement series C2000 and C3000 have been approved as fully compatible with recycling of polypropylene (PP) containers in Europe according to RecyClass. Pellets containing 5 wt.% of either CirKular+ C2000 or C3000 resin blended in an injection molding PP grade matrix were tested according to the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) critical guidance for PP rigid containers.

As MRC wrote before, in April, 2021, The American company Kraton announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted an emergency exemption for the use of its new sulfonated polymer, which rapidly inactivates the coronavirus. The Environmental Protection Agency has issued an emergency permit for the use of the polymer in the states of the United States, Georgia, Utah and Minnesota for specific applications to protect against the COVID-19 virus.

Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc., comprised of the functional division of Kraton Polymers LLC and its subsidiaries, is the world's leading manufacturer of specialty polymers and styrene block copolymers (SBCs). The company's manufacturing base consists of five factories, including a central plant in Belpre, Ohio, as well as factories in Germany, France, Brazil and a joint manufacturing venture in Japan.

Singapore chemicals output fall 2.7% in February

Singapore chemicals output fall 2.7% in February

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Singapore's chemicals cluster output fell by 2.7% year on year in February while overall manufacturing production was up by 17.6%, the Economic Development Board (EDB) said in a statement.

On a year-on-year basis, output in the specialties, petrochemicals and other chemicals segments contracted by 2.0%, 3.1% and 8.8%, respectively in February, the Economic Development Board (EDB) said in a statement.

On a year-to-date basis, output of the chemicals cluster fell by 2.4% compared to the same period a year ago.

Singapore’s overall manufacturing output increased 17.6% year on year in February, supported by the surge in electronics and biomedical production.

Electronics output jumped by 32.4% year on year in February while biomedical manufacturing was up by 25.3%.

As per MRC, Shell has become the first supplier of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Singapore, and plans to start blending the fuel at its plant in the aviation hub. The first batch of SAF was blended in Europe, Shell said in a statement.

Also, Neste plans to produce its first batch of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Singapore by the end of 1Q 2023 after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed its expansion project. Neste produces renewable fuels, mainly from waste and residues such as used cooking oil, animal fat from food industry waste, fish fat from fish processing waste and residues from vegetable oil processing.

W.R. Grace to raise FCC catalysts and additives prices

W.R. Grace to raise FCC catalysts and additives prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- W. R. Grace & Co. a leading independent provider of polyolefin catalyst technology and process services, stated that it will increase prices for its fluid catalytic cracking catalysts and additives this year as contracts allow, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

As Grace offers products and services that continue to deliver increasing value, it faces rapidly escalating costs for key raw materials and energy, including aluminum-derived chemicals and natural gas. In addition, freight and logistics costs continue to rise at an extraordinary rate.

Grace remains focused on reducing operational expenses through increased efficiencies, however, those efforts cannot completely offset unprecedented inflationary trends.

As MRC reported previously, W. R. Grace & Co., has recently awarded Oriental Energy a UNIPOL polypropylene (PP) process license for its Maoming plant in China. This is Oriental Energy's fifth PP production line and its fourth, which uses the Grace UNIPOL PP process with a production capacity of 400,000 tonnes per year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes in 2021, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

W.R. Grace, a standard industries company, is a leading global supplier of catalysts and engineered materials. The company’s two industry-leading business segments - Catalysts Technologies and Materials Technologies - provide innovative products, technologies, and services that enhance the products and processes of our customers around the world. With approximately 4,300 employees, Grace operates and/or sells to customers in over 60 countries.

Russian attacks have destroyed an oil refinery in Kremenchuk

Russian attacks have destroyed an oil refinery in Kremenchuk

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian attacks have destroyed an oil refinery in the central Poltava region and struck "critical infrastructure", most likely oil facilities, near the port city of Odesa, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Russian forces have attacked Odesa, the main base for Ukraine's navy, alongside other Ukrainian Black Sea ports such as Mariupol and Mykolaiv. If taken, it would give Russia a land corridor from Crimea to Transniestria, a Russian-speaking breakaway province of Moldova that hosts Russian troops. Oil facilities have been a focus of attacks.

Kremenchuk, 250 km (150 miles) southeast of Kyiv along the Dnipro river, had Ukraine's only fully functioning oil refinery. Dmytro Lunin, governor of the Poltava region, said on television that the refinery had been destroyed in a rocket attack on Saturday. "The fire at the refinery has been extinguished but the facility has been completely destroyed and can no longer function," he said.

Reuters could not independently confirm the refinery's destruction. The plant processed 3.2 MMt of oil last year and its loss could prove a blow to Ukraine's defense effort. Several rockets also hit Mykolaiv, an interior ministry aide said.

Earlier, Russia's defense ministry said its missiles had destroyed an oil refinery and three fuel storage facilities near Odesa. It said they had been used by Ukraine to supply its troops near Mykolaiv. Vladyslav Nazarov, an officer of Ukraine's Southern Operational Command, said on Telegram that there had been a missile attack on "critical infrastructure". Two columns of thick, black smoke could be seen rising into a grey sky before spreading out over the city.

"All relevant systems and structures are working ... No casualties reported," Nazarov added. Reuters could not confirm details of the attack. Odesa Mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov said on television the situation was "under control", adding: "Homes, civilian infrastructure, roofs have suffered damage."

Vika, a local resident who declined to give her surname, said her family had woken up to powerful explosions near their home. "There was smoke, the children were in a panic, the windows were blown in ... it was terrifying," she said. Russia denies attacking civilians.

Russian forces invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what the Kremlin calls a "special military operation" to demilitarize and "denazify" its neighbor. Ukraine and the Western countries supporting it reject that as a baseless pretext for a war of aggression.

As per MRC, South Korean naphtha cracker operators are expected to stop importing Russian petrochemical products after deliveries from existing contracts are completed. The country's naphtha cracker operators will not sign any new contracts for Russian products and are working to diversify to other sources such as U.S. and India, the sources said, declining to be identified as they are not authorized to speak to media.

As per MRC, Clariant announced that it will suspend business with Russia in response to the Russian state’s intolerable acts of violence in Ukraine with immediate effect. Clariant’s operations in Russia include a sales office and a laboratory in Moscow and contribute approximately 2% to the company’s annual sales.

Honeywell has substantially suspended sales, distribution and service activities in Russia and Belarus. The company prioritizes the safety and security of the employees and partners in the region and responding to their immediate needs.

Solvay has decided to suspend its operations and new investments in Russia. Further, Solvay will suspend dividend payments from Rusvinyl, an independent 50:50 joint venture in Russia.

Sika closes deal to divest European industrial coatings business

Sika closes deal to divest European industrial coatings business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sika has closed the transaction related to the divestment of the European industrial coatings business, as per the company's press release.

The deal, which includes Sika's European industrial coatings business with the main location and manufacturing facility in Vaihingen, Germany, was announced on 19 August last year.

The associated sales proceeds amount to EUR200 million. The transaction will have a positive one-time impact on the profitability of Sika in the first half-year 2022. The final effect on the financial statements will be presented in the half-year report to be published on July 22, 2022.

As MRC reported before, earlier this year, Sika acquired Canada’s Sable Marco Inc, which manufactures cementitious products and mortars, for an undisclosed amount. Sable Marco is headquartered in Pont Rouge, near Quebec City, and generates annual sales of Swiss francs (Swfr) 20m (USD22m). The acquisition “should open up new opportunities for Sika in the eastern region of Canada and clearly improve Sika’s access to the retail distribution channel,” the company said.

We remind that Sika commissioned a manufacturing facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), which produces epoxy resins aimed at flooring solutions. Sika has decided to invest in the expansion of its manufacturing facilities at the Dubai site in order to increase flexibility in production, shorten delivery times, optimize cost structures, and reduce inventories.

Sika is a specialty chemicals company with a leading position in the development and production of systems and products for bonding, sealing, damping, reinforcing, and protecting in the building sector and motor vehicle industry. Sika has subsidiaries in 101 countries around the world and manufactures in over 200 factories.