Toyo Ink completes high-performance polymers facility in Japan

Toyo Ink completes high-performance polymers facility in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Toyochem Co., Ltd., the polymer and coatings arm of Japan’s Toyo Ink Group, announced today that it has completed construction of a new Polymer Pilot Facility at its Kawagoe Factory, a manufacturing complex located in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture in Japan, said the company.

The new Facility, which came online in April 2023, is engaged in the prototyping and medium-scale production of advanced polymers and their composites. In the first-phase production line, Toyochem plans to manufacture condensation polymers that exhibit high heat resistance and high flexibility, properties needed to fulfill the very demanding requirements of today’s semiconductor components. Key applications include high heat resistant and flexible adhesive materials for high-speed communication components and functional adhesives for electric vehicles.

In line with its growth strategy, Toyochem, with the cooperation of its Polymer Materials Research Institute in Japan and the new Polymer Pilot Facility, is expected to accelerate development of new products and related businesses needed to support its customer base now and well into the future. “The Toyo Ink Group has a long track record of manufacturing polymers based on acrylics, urethanes, polyesters and their composites for use primarily in can coatings, adhesives, laminating adhesives and inks,” said Yasushi Ariyoshi, Division Director of the Polymer & Coating R&D Division at Toyochem.

We remind, Toyo Ink SC Holdings, the Japan-based parent company of the specialty chemicals company Toyo Ink Group, has announced that, on March 10, 2023, it and its consolidated subsidiary Toyo Ink (Thailand), concluded a share purchase agreement to wholly acquire Thai Eurocoat, manufacturer of external coatings for non-printed cans in the Thai canned food market.

BASF appoints new head of personal care business

BASF appoints new head of personal care business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has appointed Gisela Pinheiro as head of the business unit Personal Care Europe and as the new Managing Director of BASF Personal Care and Nutrition GmbH, effective June 1, 2023, said the company.

She succeeds Tatiana Kalman who held these positions since 2022 and is leaving the company at her own request.
Prior to her current role, Pinheiro was Senior Vice President at BASF’s Care Chemicals division, leading the global key account management, the global business unit for detergent enzymes, the global strategic marketing, supply chain and IT.

Pinheiro holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from IBMEC Business School, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and an economics degree from Northern Michigan University, USA.

She started her career as a consultant at Ernst & Young, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and then worked for Dow Chemicals in Brazil and the US for 14 years in several multi-functional and business roles – strategic as well as operative. In 2017 she joined BASF as Vice President Functional Materials and Solutions South America. She took over the role of Vice President Global Key Account Management at BASF’s Care Chemicals division, located in Ludwigshafen, Germany, in 2019. In April 2022, she has been promoted to Senior Vice President taking up the additional responsibilities of her current role.

We remind, BASF had a 13.4% decrease in sales for Q1 2023, from EUR23.1 billion in Q1 2022 to EUR20.0 billion. However, net income was EUR1.6 billion, EUR340 million higher than in the same period of the previous year. The company forecasts sales of between EUR84 billion and EUR87 billion for 2023.

Covestro signs first major renewable energy agreement for its US operations

Covestro signs first major renewable energy agreement for its US operations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro, a leading manufacturer of high-quality polymer materials and their components, has signed a 90 megawatt (MW) virtual power purchase agreement (vPPA) with Orsted, a clean energy leader in the U.S. market, headquartered in Denmark, said the company.

With various agreements in place, Covestro fosters the growth of renewable energy projects around the world. This newest 15-year agreement secures a portion of power from the Mockingbird Solar Center in Lamar County, Texas, marking Covestro’s first renewable energy agreement in the U.S. The vPPA is estimated to offset 70,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually and will reduce the scope 2 emissions from Covestro’s third largest production site, located in Baytown, Texas.

“This important new announcement builds upon Covestro’s existing agreement with Orsted and clearly signals our commitment to the use of renewable energy,” said Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro. “The inclusion of renewable energy to help power our facilities is a critical component to reducing our scope 2 emissions and becoming operationally climate neutral by 2035.”

Covestro set itself ambitious climate neutrality goals in 2022. One major lever to reach these goals is energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power.

“The vPPA with Orsted comes on the heels of our recent announcement of ISCC PLUS certification for our production site in Baytown, Texas,” explains Haakan Jonsson, chairman and president of Covestro LLC. “These two initiatives represent our focus on sustainability and the strategic path we have set to minimize our carbon footprint across Covestro’s operations in the United States. Cumulatively, projects like this help us realize our path to becoming fully circular.”

We remind, Covestro successfully started up a new world-scale facility for the production of chlorine in Tarragona, Spain. It is the first world-scale production plant for chlorine based upon the highly innovative and energy efficient ODC (oxygen depolarized cathode) technology invented by Covestro and its partners.

Alpla Group acquires iTEC Packaging’s Mansfield plant

Alpla Group acquires iTEC Packaging’s Mansfield plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Alpla Group has strengthened its commitment to the UK market with the acquisition of iTEC Packaging’s plant in Mansfield, UK, said Foodbev.

iTEC Packaging is a manufacturer specialising in injection moulding, thermoforming, extrusion and compression moulding. The company’s plant in Mansfield specialises in the production of closures primarily for dairy applications, but also for other food and beverage sectors.

Alpla says that the acquisition will expand its expertise as a packaging system provider in the UK market. Jens Seifried, Alpla’s UK MD, said: “With our global know-how, with this acquisition we can increasingly offer the UK dairy industry sustainable, efficient and innovative packaging solutions”.

The takeover will enable Alpla to push the use of post-consumer recycled material in the closure sector, with the company hoping to offer complete solutions with high recycling content.

Alpla says that this will build on its work in the processing of recycled high-density polyethene (rHDPE) in the ultra-light ‘Eco-Bottle’ – the Eco-Bottle uses around 20% less materials across its container sizes, compared to traditional milk vessels.

The company developed the Eco-Bottle last year for Arla Foods UK and it is now used by other dairy businesses, the bottle’s packaging can be made of up to 40% food-grade rHDPE with new developments having the potential to increase this inclusion in coming years.

The incorporation of the former iTEC Packaging plant in Mansfield provides further capacity and product range and at the same time secures jobs at the site. Alpla said the site’s current staff “will be taken over in their entirety”.

We remind, Alpla, together with its partners Ecohelp SRL (Romania) and United Polymer Trading AG (Switzerland), have started production at their joint recycling plant in Targu Mures, Romania. The plant, located adjacent to the existing Ecohelp site in Targu Mures, has an annual capacity of around 18,000 tonnes of post-consumer-recycled PET (rPET) per year and aims to supply the southeast European market with food-grade rPET. The project has led to the creation of around 20 new jobs. The joint venture partners will host the official opening ceremony on 4 May 2023.

Nigeria's NNPC winding down crude oil swap contracts

Nigeria's NNPC winding down crude oil swap contracts

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nigeria's state oil firm NNPC Ltd is winding down crude swap contracts with traders and will pay cash for gasoline imports, its chief executive told Reuters, adding that private companies could begin importing petrol as soon as this month, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The move is part of new Nigerian President Bola Tinubu's plans to deregulate the gasoline market and reduce the burden on government finances. Tinubu has already scrapped a costly fuel subsidy, effective from last Tuesday, a decision which tripled petrol prices, angering labor unions who have called for a strike starting on Wednesday if the decision is not reversed.

NNPC has been importing gasoline from consortiums of foreign and local trading firms and repaying them with crude oil via what are known as Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) contracts since 2016 because it does not have enough cash to pay for the purchases, data and trading sources said.

"In the last four months we practically terminated all DSDP contracts. And we now have an arm's-length process where we can pay cash for the imports," Kyari told Reuters in an interview late on Saturday. This is the first time NNPC has said it is terminating crude swap contracts. By importing less gasoline as private companies import the bulk, NNPC will be able to pay for its purchases in cash, Kyari said.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest crude producer but imports most of its refined products after running down its refineries.

A significant drop in oil production last year coupled with high global fuel prices due to the war in Ukraine pushed NNPC's debt to traders higher. It owed the consortiums about $2 B, a September 2022 NNPC report to the Federation Account Allocation Committee shows.

An industry source with direct knowledge of the matter said NNPC was still allocating crude for fuel swaps for July loading, though less than in previous months. In its report detailing March crude oil loadings, NNPC also allocated crude to the swap contracts held by the consortiums.

Kyari said NNPC's monopoly on gasoline supplies was ending and private firms could start importing as early as this month.

We remind, Nigeria's main labor union said on Friday it plans to go on strike from Wednesday to protest against a tripling of fuel prices in the country after new president Bola Tinubu scrapped a costly subsidy. The government hopes the lifting of the fuel subsidies - which caused prices to rise to 557 naira per liter from 189 naira at the petrol pumps - will help alleviate a funding crisis in Africa's biggest economy. Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Joe Ajaero made the announcement after an emergency meeting of the union's executive council in Abuja.