Covestro launches a new production line for Desmodur 15 prepolymers

Covestro launches a new production line for Desmodur 15 prepolymers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro launches the production of Desmodur 15 prepolymers at its Spanish site of Barcelona. With this new production line, the company addresses the growing demand for its high-performance elastomers and can serve an ever wider range of very demanding applications, said the company.

"With this strategic investment, Covestro aims to further enlarge the capacity and improve the reliability of its global supply of Desmodur 15 based products," says Philip Bahke, Head of Operations at Covestro Elastomers.

"On top of addressing our customers’ demand, Covestro's Barcelona site has been operating entirely on renewable energy since the beginning of 2022," says Sucheta Govil, Chief Commercial Officer at Covestro. "This approach is part of our ambition to reduce our environmental impact while offering our customers greater access to our solutions and specialties products."

"We are opening the new production unit for our Desmodur® 15 prepolymers in Barcelona in parallel to the ongoing expansion of our NDI capacities in the Asia-Pacific region with the Map Ta Phut plant in Thailand," explains Thomas Braig, Head of Covestro Elastomers. "This new production unit will help us to support our customers’ growth in the cast polyurethanes high-end applications segment." The abbreviation NDI stands for naphthylene diisocyanate.

"Thanks to this new production line, our Vulkollan® licensees, as Desmodur 15 prepolymers processors, will be able to further develop their business," explains Abdel Arhzaf, Head of NDI-Vulkollan. "Through these investments, we intend to support the demand for ultra-high-performance elastomers used for superior applications as e.g. in the material handling industry and also for a growing number of engineering applications."

Combining the highest mechanical characteristics with dynamic load-bearing capacity, elastomers based on Desmodur 15 prepolymers are not only one of the most powerful cast polyurethanes in the market, they are also as easy to process as conventional prepolymers.

As per MRC, Covestro is expanding its production capacities for thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) Films in the Platilon range, as well as the associated infrastructure and logistics and schedules to complete the new facilities as early as the end of 2023.

We remind that Covestro closed the sale of its European polycarbonates (PC) sheets business to the Munich-based Serafin Group effective January 2, 2020. This includes key management and sales functions throughout Europe as well as production sites in Belgium and Italy.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall consumption of PC granules (excluding exports from Belarus) totalled 7,800 tonnes in January 2022, down by 4% year on year (8,100 tonnes a year earlier).

Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is an independent subgroup within Bayer. It was created as part of the restructuring of Bayer AG from the former business group Bayer Polymers, with certain of its activities being spun off to Lanxess AG. Covestro manufactures and develops materials such as coatings, adhesives and sealants, polycarbonates (CDs, DVDs), polyurethanes (automotive seating, insulation for refrigerating appliances) etc. With 2021 sales of EUR 15.9 billion, Covestro has 50 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 17,900 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).
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Wacker aims to increase global silicone capacity

Wacker aims to increase global silicone capacity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker Chemie AG is accelerating the expansion of its production capacities. Investment projects to this end are either in the planning stage or are nearing completion, said the company.

Significant capacity expansions for liquid silicone rubber (LSR) will be available in the second half of this year, and will come into full effect in 2023. Increasing production volumes for high con¬sistency rubber (HCR) are also scheduled. With expansion measures at several other sites, Wacker will gradually in¬crease its capacities for HCR and LSR grades significantly in the next few years. Over EUR100 million have been earmarked for this capacity boost.

The scheduled investments are in line with Wacker new growth targets announced in March. The company intends to increase growth in its chemical divisions by focusing on product specialties. “Wacker returned to a growth trajectory last year. We finished 2021 with record sales and strong earnings – despite headwinds from raw material and energy prices. We want to maintain this momentum and are charting our course for accelerated growth going forward. This is also true for our specialty chemicals business”, says Wacker CEO Christian Hartel.

The availability of liquid and high consistency silicone rubber will benefit from several expansion measures in the next years. Wacker expects additional LSR capacities in the second half of this year due to several capacity expansions at its production site in Burghausen, Germany, which will be complete at the end of the year. New capacities will also be installed at WACKER’s US-based production site in Adrian, Michigan, to better serve the North and Central Americas market locally from next year onwards.

Substantial capacity expansions are also planned for high consistency rubber grades, starting with Wacker new production site in Panagarh, India, which will start production shortly. Additional HCR capacities will be available early next year at the company’s sites in the Czech Republic (Pilzen) and in Japan (Tsukuba). Pilzen produces ready-to-use SILMIX silicone compounds for key industries; Tsukuba, Japan, which produces silicone emulsions, too, supplies high-consistency and room-temperature vulcanizing silicone rubber as well as LSR.

As per MRC, Wacker Chemie AG is moving forward with “Shape the Future,” its efficiency program initiated last November. The Munich-based chemical company has recenly announced that company management and employee representatives have agreed on a framework for the planned job cutbacks.

As MRC reported earlier, Wacker Chemie operates a 90 ktpa EVA compounding plant at the Ulsan site, consisting of two lines. The second line with a capacity of 40 thousand tons of products per year was launched in 2013.

Wacker Chemie manufactures and markets EVA dispersions under the VINNAPAS brand name. VINNAPAS polymer dispersions are used in a wide range of industries: for the production of complex thermal insulation systems, building and tile adhesives, plaster, building mixtures and mortars, cement sealing slurries and nonwovens.
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PPG commits to setting science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

PPG commits to setting science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PPG announced that it has committed to setting near-term company-wide emission reductions in line with climate science through the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), which is an organization that helps companies define their decarbonization strategy and reduce the impacts of climate change, said the company.

PPG has an existing goal to reduce GHG emissions intensity by 15% by 2025 from a 2017 baseline, achieving a 9.7% reduction in 2021. The company has long reported emissions intensity from its own operations (Scope 1 emissions) and purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling (Scope 2 emissions) and plans to unveil its new 2030 goals over the coming months. Moving forward, PPG is prioritizing evaluating indirect emissions that are from sources outside of the organization that PPG does not own or control, including raw materials, use of sold products, and product end-of-life (Scope 3 emissions).

"In this critical moment for climate change, we are committed to further evaluating and reducing emissions throughout our value chain,” said Diane Kappas, PPG vice president, Global Sustainability. “We are working across our organization to define additional actions we can take to help prevent the earth from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Following our validation work with SBTi and an emissions analysis, we intend to announce new, aggressive 2030 goals that will define our decarbonization strategy to help protect the planet for current and future generations."

PPG also released its 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, which details advancements in its sustainable innovations, board governance of ESG, efforts to reach its 2025 sustainability goals and further actions to support customers’ sustainability goals.

We remind that in June 2021, PPG announced an expansion of its coatings manufacturing capacity in Europe for packaging applications. The investments at sites in The Netherlands and Poland will support growing customer demand in the region for the latest generation of coatings for aluminum and steel cans used in packaging for beverage, food and personal care items. The projects include a further expansion of the company’s location in Tiel, The Netherlands, which will increase the plant’s production capacity for PPG INNOVEL non-BPA internal coatings for beverage cans by 30%. Expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022, the project follows a 50% expansion completed at the end of 2020.

PPG is a leading supplier of powder coatings to the automotive, transportation, appliance, furniture and other markets. The company expanded the business with its 2020 acquisition of Alpha Coating Technologies, which manufactures powder coatings for light industrial applications and heat-sensitive substrates, and its 2021 acquisition of Worwag, which makes liquid, powder and film coatings for industrial and automotive applications. PPG recently agreed to acquire the powder coatings business of Arsonsisi, including a manufacturing plant in Verbania, Italy.

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Azelis expands presence in India

Azelis expands presence in India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Azelis announces that it has reached an agreement to acquire Chemo India and Unipharm Laboratories’ distribution assets, said the company.

Both companies are renowned local distributors of specialty chemicals and ingredients for the CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers), L&MWF (lubricants & metalworking fluids) and pharmaceutical market segments in India.

The acquisition strengthens the Group’s industrial chemicals portfolio and its footprint in the pharmaceutical market, further reinforcing Azelis’ lateral value chain (LVC) for these market segments. The transaction represents a solid fit with the Group’s growth ambitions in India, as well as its wider strategic vision for the Asia Pacific region.

Founded in 1966 and 1970 respectively with headquarters in Mumbai and four sites in Bhiwandi, Chemo India and Unipharm Laboratories are the distribution partners of global and regional principals, and serve a large and growing customer base. Owners Amit Shah and Jigar Shah will both continue to lead the business and support the integration into Azelis, working closely with Azelis’ existing CASE, L&MWF and Pharma business teams to grow the Group’s footprint in India and its subcontinents. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, after fulfilment of customary closing conditions.

Besides, Azelis made two acquisitions in July, 2021, both in South Korea. The most recent agreement, announced on Jul. 14, is the proposed takeover of Seoul-headquartered Coseal, which specializes in the distribution, repackaging and blending of agricultural/horticultural surfactants. This transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, when all of Coseal’s 45 employees, along with its owner and CEO Sang Jin Kang, will transfer to the Belgium-based distributor.

Nearly two weeks earlier, on Jul. 1, Azelis revealed it had purchased MH, a local distributor in the food ingredients market, providing the multinational specialty chemicals distribution group with a foothold in the food and health segment. Also headquartered in Seoul, MH is a family-owned business, supplying products such as gluten, starches, sweeteners and functional food ingredients.

Azelis is a leading distributor of speciality chemicals and food ingredients present in over 50 countries across the globe with around 2,200 employees. Our knowledgeable teams of industry, market and technical experts are each dedicated to a specific market within Life Sciences and Industrial Chemicals.
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Lummus and Clariant awarded contract for one of the world's largest PDH units

Lummus and Clariant awarded contract for one of the world's largest PDH units

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lummus Technology announced it and its catalyst partner Clariant have been awarded a major contract by Fujian Meide to supply CATOFIN technology and catalysts for a new, world-scale propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit in Fuzhou, China, said Hydrocabonprocessing.

Already operating one PDH unit at its Fuzhou petrochemical complex, Fujian Meide is now building one of the largest PDH units in the world and has selected the CATOFIN process and catalysts for the project's second phase. The new unit will produce 900,000 mtons of propylene annually and is scheduled to commence operation in 2023.

"Our close partnership with Clariant has continued to improve CATOFIN over the years to the benefit of our customers," said Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lummus Technology. "The process has a proven track record of unmatched productivity, often beyond design capacity (up to 110% on average), giving producers a significantly higher return on investment and more profitable daily operations. This has made it a global leader for propylene production."

"This strategic collaboration exemplifies our dedication to product innovation with ground-breaking chemistry, such as our Heat Generating Material (HGM)," said Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Clariant Catalysts. "As a result, HGM, together with new Lummus process technology, reduces energy consumption of the CATOFIN process by one-third, making it a low-carbon route to propylene production."

"With an annual capacity of 900,000 tons, our second PDH unit will be among the world's largest," said Zheng Chaohui, President at Fujian Meide Petrochemical Co. "No other PDH technology is proven at this scale, and we needed best-in-class performance. CATOFIN was our first choice because it is widely recognized as the most advanced solution in the PDH industry. Clariant and Lummus Technology have already proven to be the right partners for us, not only with their products, but also their technical expertise."

The CATOFIN process combines Lummus' advanced technology with Clariant's tailor-made catalysts and HGM to convert propane to propylene with unsurpassed reliability. Since its commercial launch in 2017, CATOFIN has been selected for 34 new projects around the world, representing more than 24,000 kilotons of new propylene capacity annually. Over 50% of these plants are located in China.

Fujian Meide Petrochemical Co. is a fully owned subsidiary of Zhongjing Petrochemicals Group, which is headquartered in Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China. Specializing in energy, petrochemicals, logistics and packaging, Zhongjing Petrochemicals Group is the largest producer of BOPP (biaxially oriented polypropylene) films in China, with an annual capacity of 1 million tons of BOPP and 4 million tons of Polypropylene.

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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