Kraton expands resin capacity at Niort facility

Kraton expands resin capacity at Niort facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kraton Corporation announces a significant investment in its alpha methyl styrene (AMS) resins facility in Niort, France. Kraton expects the investment will result in a 15% production increase at the Niort manufacturing facility by 2023, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

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."

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.

Trinseo raises May prices for carpet latex binders customers in North America

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, and latex, has announced the company is raising its prices of all styrene acrylic and acrylic latex products sold into the carpet market in North America, as per the company's press release.

The present price increase is effective May 1, 2022, and will be USD0.10/dry lb. as contracts allow.

This price rise is necessary to offset rising raw material and transportation costs.

As MRC reported earlier, Trinseo is targeting to begin construction of its world-class chemical recycling plant in Europe by the end of 2022. The company announced that plans for this plant are progressing rapidly. In late 2021, Trinseo contracted with global technology provider Synova and global engineering services company Worley, and is currently working on an engineering package and preparing Trinseo’ s Tessenderlo, Belgium site for recycling operations.

The plant will be dedicated to recycled polystyrene (rPS), meeting increased demand for the material as brand owners seek sustainable options. It will process 15 kilotons of rPS flakes annually that will be converted into high quality recycled styrene to enable further production of polystyrene (PS) and/or a styrene derivative including Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN).

PS is one of the most widely used plastics and can be fully circular.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, January 2022 estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics in Russia rose by 9% year on year, totalling 49,170 tonnes. Russia's estimated consumption of all PS grades increased year on year. Thus, consumption of high impact polystyrene (HIPS) and general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) was 33,020 tonnes in January 2022 (up by 3% year on year), consumption of expandable polystyrene (EPS) was 8,520 tonnes (up by 1% year on year), whereas ABS consumption was 7,450 tonnes (up by 76% year on year).

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 USD4.8 billion in net sales in 2021 and has 26 manufacturing sites and one recycling facility around the world and approximately 3,400 employees.

New equipment to be supplied for construction of new large refinery in Mexico

New equipment to be supplied for construction of new large refinery in Mexico

MOSCOW (MRC) -- GE Power Conversion will supply 19 electrical motors to power water-cooling tower pumps manufactured by Ruhrpumpen. The motors will support the build of a large refinery located in Dos Bocas, Mexico, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The refinery is slated to become the biggest refinery in Mexico, anticipated to produce approximately 340,000 bpd. Construction of the refinery started in June 2019, and the facility is set to commence commercial operation in late 2022. It will play a key role in Mexico’s National Refining Plan in efforts to become more energy self-sufficient.

The innovative electro-mechanical design of GE’s C7 Series Induction Motors promotes high efficiency to support energy savings and low noise levels to help reduce environmental impact. With increased power density and state of the art manufacturing, the C7 Motors are optimized to support a refinery of such a large caliber.

“We’re excited to be a part of this momentous initiative and see our equipment play a role in supporting an entire country as it works towards achieving energy self-sufficiency. It’s been a pleasure to partner with Ruhrpumpen on this project and to continue delivering high-quality technology and more reliable and sustainable electrical solutions for industrial applications,” said Gagan Sood, GE Power Conversion Americas CEO.

As MRC informed earlier, Mexico's state-run Petroleos Mexicanos would likely reduce oil sales to Europe and Asia before the United States, its main market for oil exports, after its Dos Bocas refinery begins operations, a Valero Energy Corp VLO.N executive said in late January, 2022.

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 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas.shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

HMEL to shut its PP plant for maintenance in May

HMEL to shut its PP plant for maintenance in May

MOSCOW (MRC) -- HPCL-Mittal Energy Limited's (HMEL) polypropylene (PP) plant in Bathinda, Punjab, India has been operating at reduced rates throughout March and is scheduled to go offline in May, 2022, according to CommoPlast.

At the time of the report, the producer is running at 40% rates.

Meanwhile, the duration of the upcoming turnaround could not be ascertained.

The maintenance shutdown at the plant with the capacity of 400,000 mt/year of PP is expected to curtail local and export supply substantially.

As MRC reported earlier, HMEL took off-stream its PP plant in Bathinda for an unscheduled 10-12 turnaround on 11 February, 2022.

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

HPCL-Mittal Energy Limited (HMEL) is a joint venture between India's Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Singapore's Mittal Energy Investment Pte Ltd. Both partners each own 49% of the shares in the joint venture, the remaining 2% is held by financial institutions. HMEL operates a 9 mln tpa refinery at Guru Gobind Singh.

Teijin Frontier developed eco-friendly polyester staple nanofiber

Teijin Frontier developed eco-friendly polyester staple nanofiber

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd., the Teijin Group's fibers and products converting company, announced that it has developed an eco-friendly staple polyester nanofiber that offers excellent performance to reinforce rubber uses in products including automotive tires, hoses and belts, said the company.

Teijin Frontier will start production in 2023 and expects sales to reach JPY one billion (nearly USD 8.2 million) by the fiscal year ending in March 2028. Teijin Frontier, guided by its THINK ECO environmental initiative, is striving to improve its environmental value, including by developing greener materials and products for applications ranging from clothing to industrial materials. The new staple nanofiber matches the company’s increasing emphasis on solutions that help to ease environmental burdens.

Teijin Frontier will continue to expand the types of polymers that can be used for the new staple nanofibers and continue to develop them for a wide range of rubber and resin products such as tires, hoses and belts. The company will also promote the development of products that utilize recycled raw materials with the aim of reducing the environmental burden.

The new staple nanofiber incorporates both polyester nanofiber and polyethylene polymers, which are combined in Teijin Frontier’s proprietary sea-island composite cross section. Different polymers are used for the "sea" and "island" parts to improve rubber reinforcement. A polyester nanofiber with a diameter of either 400nm or 700nm is used as the island as reinforcing material and the surrounding sea part is made with polyethylene, which mixes easily with rubber. Compared to conventional products, mixing takes place at the molecular level, which enables thousands of times more nanofibers to be evenly dispersed in the rubber for equal or better reinforcing but requiring a relatively small amount.

Staple fibers are used to strengthen rubber in products required to withstand repeated deformation and abrasion. Conventionally, this has been achieved by adjusting fiber strength and length, the latter generally to between several millimeters and several tens of millimeters. Increased length, however, leads to entanglement and twisting when the fiber is kneaded into the rubber, which reduces strength due to less efficient fiber dispersal. Meanwhile, growing environmental concerns are raising demands for reduced molecular weights and surface treatments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As per MRC, Teijin says that its subsidiary Teijin Carbon Europe (Heinsberg, Germany) has increased the production capacity of chopped carbon fiber by 40%. The company says that it is responding to the growing demand from European electronics manufacturers in recent years, as well as the current increase in demand for compounds for medical devices.

As MRC reported before, Teijin Ltd. is expanding its footprint in Europe with Teijin Automotive Center Europe GmbH, a new base in Wuppertal, Germany, that will house technical functions for the company’s automotive composites business.

Teijin is a technology-driven global group offering advanced solutions in the areas of sustainable transportation, information and electronics, safety and protection, environment and energy, and healthcare. Its main fields of operation are high-performance fibers such as aramid, carbon fibers & composites, healthcare, films, resin & plastic processing, polyester fibers, products converting and IT. The group has some 150 companies and around 17,000 employees spread out over 20 countries worldwide.