Milliken will begin production at its new clarifier plant in autumn

Milliken will begin production at its new clarifier plant in autumn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Milliken & Company will begin production at its new clarifier plant soon in Blacksburg, S.C. This significant additional capacity will address strong worldwide demand for clarified plastic products, said the company.

The company, a global manufacturer with plastic additives and colorants expertise, says this new, world-class facility will increase production capacity of its market-leading Millad® NX® 8000 polypropylene clarifier by more than 50 percent.

“This represents the largest clarifier plant investment in Milliken history,” said Cindy Boiter, president of Milliken’s Chemicals Business. “Engineering is complete, and we are in the process of commissioning the plant. When we launch production in the fall, it will allow us to address both current market needs and increasing demand for these products well into the future."

“Global demand for Millad NX 8000 clarifier has grown at an 11 percent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for each of the past nine years,” added Boiter. “Global clarifier demand grew by 16 percent in just the past two years,” outstripping the growth rates for global polypropylene (PP) resin. “All regions have contributed to the growth of clarified PP, with Asia leading the way."

A number of factors are driving this demand. Milliken’s own customer research underscores the importance of being able to clearly see the products they are buying. Millad NX 8000 provides close to glass-like clarity in PP packaging, which improves customer confidence during their buying process, especially for food products. This clarity enables brand owners to replace PET, polystyrene, polycarbonate, and more with PP — shown by studies to be a more sustainable option.

The current soaring energy prices, meanwhile, have also spiked interest in any resins or additives like this one, which can help converters to save energy during processing. As a result of these certified savings, brand owners using PP clarified with Millad NX 8000 ECO can display a UL Environmental Claim Validation label on their injection molded parts.

Polypropylene is not only lightweight and durable; it also is one of the least energy-intensive polymers to make and recycle compared to other clear polymers.

As per MRC, Milliken & Company is moving boldly to address anticipated market needs by expanding the facilities and capacity it acquired last March via its purchase of Germany’s Zebra-chem GmbH. Zebra-chem is a specialty compounder and chemicals company that makes additive and blowing agent concentrates for polyolefins, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and engineering thermoplastics.

Milliken & Company is a global manufacturing leader whose focus on materials science delivers tomorrow’s breakthroughs today. From industry-leading molecules to sustainable innovations, Milliken creates products that enhance people’s lives and deliver solutions for its customers and communities. Drawing on thousands of patents and a portfolio with applications across the textile, flooring, specialty chemical, and healthcare businesses, the company harnesses a shared sense of integrity and excellence to positively impact the world for generations.
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Sika bought US manufacturer of liquid waterproofing products

Sika bought US manufacturer of liquid waterproofing products

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sika has bought a US manufacturer of liquid waterproofing products, said the company.

United Gilsonite Laboratories (UGL) manufactures products for consumer and DIY waterproofing applications. In 2021, UGL generated sales of CHF65m (GDP53m). UGL is based in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and has two additional production sites in Illinois and Mississippi.

Sika said that the acquisition will increase its presence with major retailers and other building material stores by widening the range and opening up cross-selling opportunities. It believes that demand for watertight basements is anticipated to grow at above-average rates in the years to come, as homeowners refurbish and create more living space with basements. In commercial construction, the need for watertight basements also continues to grow. “With the combined offerings of the two companies, Sika can take advantage of the growth trends in both the residential and commercial construction segments,” it said.

Sika regional manager Americas Christoph Ganz said: “UGL is a perfect complement to Sika’s current portfolio. The UGL brands are well recognized in the USA, and their consumer and DIY waterproofing solutions allow Sika to extend its business in the USA construction industry. We warmly welcome all the UGL employees to our Sika team."

As per MRC, Sika AG (Baar, Switzerland) has opened a new plant in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, thus doubling its production capacity for mortar and concrete admixtures in Bolivia. With this new facility in one of the country’s main industrial agglomerations, Sika is positioning itself for continued growth in the dynamic Bolivian construction market.

As per MRC, Sika has agreed to sell Aliva Equipment, a Swiss unit supplying machines for the application of shotcrete, to Normet Group Oy, a Finnish global company providing solutions for underground construction. In 2021, Aliva Equipment generated sales of CHF 12 million.
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Clariant forecasts above-market 2022 growth with H2 slowdown

Clariant forecasts above-market 2022 growth with H2 slowdown

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant expects strong growth in local currency in 2022, particularly in the first half, the Swiss speciality chemicals group said as it released 2021 results delayed by whistleblower allegations that staff manipulated accounts, said Reuters.

High uncertainty amid geopolitical conflicts, suspension of business in Russia and the resurgence of COVID-19 in China were expected to impact economic growth and consumer demand in the second half, it said on Thursday.

“Clariant expects the high inflationary environment with regard to raw material, energy and logistic cost as well as supply chain challenges to persist in the second half of 2022,” it added. Clariant aimed to improve its 2022 year-on-year EBITDA margin levels via volume growth, cost discipline, and pricing.

It confirmed its 2025 ambition to deliver a 4–6% compounded annual sales growth rate and an EBITDA margin of 19–21%. It proposed a regular distribution of 0.40 Swiss franc per share to be made by reducing the par value of shares.

Clariant last month concluded its probe of allegations that some staff manipulated accounts in 2020 and 2021 to help meet financial targets, finding no impact on sales and cash previously reported.

We remind, Clariant (CLN.S) and its main shareholder Saudi Basic Industries Corp (2010.SE) are to end a so-called "governance agreement" defining their relationship, stirring speculation SABIC could launch a full takeover bid for the Swiss chemicals firm.

We remind that in October 2020, Clariant announced the construction of a new state-of-the-art catalyst production site in China. This project represents a significant investment which further strengthens Clariant’s position in China and enhances its ability to support its customers in the country’s thriving petrochemicals industry.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.
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U.S. House passes bill to fight oil and gas price gouging

U.S. House passes bill to fight oil and gas price gouging

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The U.S. House passed a bill on Thursday that allows the U.S. president to issue an energy emergency declaration, making it unlawful for companies to excessively increase gasoline and home fuel prices, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The bill must pass the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future, and be signed by President Joe Biden to become law.

As per MRC, the price of Brent crude oil, the world benchmark, has increased in 2022, partly as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In addition, a strong U.S. dollar means that countries that use currencies other than the U.S. dollar pay more as crude oil prices increase.

We remind, oil prices fell on Monday as concerns over weak economic growth in China, the world's top oil importer, overshadowed fears supply might be crimped by a potential European Union ban on Russian crude.

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Slovak refiner Slovnaft to start two-month outages

Slovak refiner Slovnaft to start two-month outages

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Slovak refinery Slovnaft, part of Hungarian oil and gas group MOL, will launch a planned outage for maintenance and upgrades on Friday, with a record number of 21 production units in two blocks being affected, said Reuters.

The outages will take place in both its refining and petrochemical units, Slovnaft said, while it planned to invest 36 MM euros in the summer maintenance, which is due to end on July 20.

We remind, in September 2019, Slovnaft refinery has completed its historically largest turnarounds on 21 production units. The refinery is in full operation after modernization and maintenance.

As MRC wrote before, in July 2019, Tatneft and Slovnaft announced they had signed a cooperation agreement for the development of joint projects in the downstream sector.

Slovnaft is a crude oil refining enterprise located in Bratislava, Slovakia. The maximum annual refining capacity is 6 million tons of crude oil, which is primarily supplied via the "Druzhba" pipeline. The dominating place in the production portfolio belongs to motor fuel (about 4.5 million tons/year), chemicals (200 thousand tons/year) and primary plastic materials (400 thousand tons/year).

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption was 1,081,100 tonnes in the first half of 2019, up by 8% year on year. Deliveries of all PE grades increased. Meanwhile, the estimated consumption of PP in the Russian market totalled 694,210 tonnes in January-June 2019, up by 14% year on year. The supply of propylene block copolymers (PP-block) and propylene homopolymers (PP-homo) increased.

Slovnaft is one of the most technologically equipped oil refineries in Europe. One third part of the motor fuel produced is sold in Slovakia, and two thirds are exported mainly to the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland and Germany. Plastic materials are sold throughout Europe. The Slovnaft share of the wholesale motor fuels market in Slovakia accounts for more than 60%, while it is about 20% in the Czech Republic and Austria. Slovnaft operates 253 filling stations in Slovakia under the company’s own brand, while the total share in the retail market for the sale of petroleum products is about 35%. In addition to operating the oil refining and petrochemical production complex in Bratislava, the company is running the wholesale business in CEE, retail activities in Slovakia and Slovnaft also owns and operates the product pipeline and several trading terminals in Slovakia. The annual turnover of Slovnaft amounts to about 3-4 billion Euros. There are more than 3,400 employees on the company’s payroll.
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