Toray to move into battery separator business

Toray to move into battery separator business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Toray Advanced Materials Korea Inc., a South Korea-based producer of chemical materials and technology products, is entering the battery separator film business through the acquisition of Toray Battery Separator Film Korea (Toray BSF Korea), said Kedglobal.

The company announced on Thursday that it has reached an agreement to acquire a 70% stake of Toray BSF Korea, which is currently owned by Toray Industries of Japan.

Located in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, Toray BSF Korea is a specialized manufacturer of separators, one of the four key materials for batteries, and a core production base for Japan's Toray.

The company has a diverse product portfolio for electric vehicles, electronic devices, industrial components and energy storage, supplying separators to battery manufacturers both domestically and internationally.

Toray Advanced Materials has a range of advanced materials businesses related to electric vehicles and next-generation mobility, including specialty films for multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) in electric vehicles, aramid for motor insulation and nonwoven fabrics for electric vehicle sound absorption.

We remind, Toray Advanced Materials Korea (TAK) has announced plans to increase its annual production capacity of polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) resin by 5,000 tons. The expansion will take place at the Gunsan plant located in Saemangeum Industrial Complex and is set to be completed by 2024, bringing TAK's total annual capacity to 13,600 tons, the largest in South Korea. TAK will also raise its capacity for sodium sulfide, the main raw material for PPS resin, to 4,800 tons per year.

Chemours Completes Sale of Glycolic Acid Business

Chemours Completes Sale of Glycolic Acid Business

MOSOCW (MRC) -- The Chemours Company, a global chemistry company with leading market positions in Titanium Technologies, Thermal & Specialized Solutions, and Advanced Performance Materials, announced it completed the sale of its Glycolic Acid Business to PureTech Scientific, LLC, a company founded and backed by Iron Path Capital, a private equity firm focused on lower-middle market investments across the specialty healthcare sectors, said the company.

“The sale of the Glycolic Acid Business is consistent with our focus on sustainable growth for our three principal businesses and creating value for our shareholders,” said Mark Newman, Chemours President and CEO. “This transaction reflects our unwavering commitment to the disciplined execution of our strategy to compete where we are best positioned to win, enhance the quality of our earnings, and make meaningful investments that help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges through the power of our chemistry.”

We remind, Chemours Company has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Glycolic Acid business for USD137 M in cash to PureTech Scientific, a company founded and backed by Iron Path Capital, a private equity firm focused on lower-middle market investments across the speciality industrial and healthcare sectors. The Chemours Company is a chemistry company with market positions in titanium technologies, thermal & specialized solutions, and advanced performance materials.

The Chemours Company is a global leader in Titanium Technologies, Thermal & Specialized Solutions, and Advanced Performance Materials providing its customers with solutions in a wide range of industries with market-defining products, application expertise and chemistry-based innovations.

OCI to jointly produce polysilicon for chips with Japanese company

OCI to jointly produce polysilicon for chips with Japanese company

MOSCOW (MRC) -- OCI Co., a leading South Korean chemical and green energy company, will team up with chemical giant Tokuyama Corp. of Japan to open a joint venture for polysilicon for semiconductors in Malaysia, said Kedglobal.

OCI on Wednesday said its board of directors decided in a meeting at its Seoul headquarters to sign a memorandum of understanding with Tokuyama to launch the joint venture. Tokuyama is the world's third-largest producer of polysilicon for chips.

Both sides will open the new company in Samalaju, Malaysia, in the first half of next year after signing a binding MOU next month and examining the business. The joint venture's annual capacity will be 11,000 tons of semi-finished polysilicon products for semiconductors.

OCI will import semi-finished polysilicon items for semiconductors produced by the joint venture, post-process them at the company's domestic plant in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, and sell the finished products to domestic and foreign customers.

The Gunsan plant's annual capacity is 4,700 tons based on finished products. The joint venture will add a post-processing facility for 5,000 tons of OCI's semi-finished products by the end of 2026. In addition, OCI is considering additional investment to expand domestic operations of polysilicon for chips.

This investment is part of a preemptive response to rising demand due to the growth of the global semiconductor market for boosting OCI's standing as a semiconductor materials company.

We remind, Lotte Fine Chemical Co., a subsidiary of Lotte Chemical Corp., and Europe’s No.1 clean ammonia producer OCI N.V., or OCI Global, will collaborate in the clean ammonia value chain from ammonia production to distribution and ammonia bunkering infrastructure.

Nutrien to pause potash ramp up, ammonia project on falling prices

Nutrien to pause potash ramp up, ammonia project on falling prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nutrien on Wednesday decided to indefinitely pause its ramp-up plans for potash production and halt work on its clean ammonia project at Geismar, Louisiana, as the world's biggest fertilizer producer grapples with falling prices, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Its U.S.-listed shares fell 2.6% in extended trading as the company cited market conditions for stopping efforts to bolster potash output to 18 million tons. Potash prices have eased after the resumption of shipments from major supplier Belarus, whose exports were largely frozen last year due to western sanctions after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The suspension of work at its 1.2 million ton clean ammonia plant was due to elevated costs and uncertainty on the timing of emerging uses for clean ammonia, it said. Fertilizer companies have been building ammonia plants along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to take advantage of Inflation Reduction Act subsidies and the existing export infrastructure.

Nutrien also lowered its 2023 adjusted earnings forecast to the range of USD3.85 to USD5.60 from a prior view of USD5.50 per share and USD7.50 per share. It had said in July that it would cut production at its Cory Potash mine and expected its full-year profit to take hit from lower exports due to a strike by Canadian dock workers.

"We expect Canadian potash exports will be constrained by logistical challenges primarily due to the strike at the Port of Vancouver," the company said. The top potash producer said it expects to cut capital expenditure by about $200 million in 2023.

We remind, Clariant announced that the new AmoMax-Casale catalyst, developed in collaboration with Casale, has been successfully utilized in Nutrien's plants in Trinidad and Tobago, Mosaic's plant in Louisiana, USA, and Yara's plant in the Netherlands.

Hyosung Chemical’s credit rating downgraded one notch

Hyosung Chemical’s credit rating downgraded one notch

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Korea Investors Service downgraded the unsecured bond credit rating of Hyosung Chemical on Thursday from A to A-, saying that its profit-generating ability and financial structure had deteriorated, said Kedglobal.

The company's commercial paper credit rating was also downgraded from A2 to A2-. “Hyosung Chemical has been in a quarterly operating loss since the fourth quarter of 2021 due to rising raw material costs in response to a drop in selling prices and delays in stabilizing new facilities in Vietnam,” the credit rating agency said in a report.

Hyosung Chemical posted a total operating loss of 336.7 billion won (USD258.5 million) on a consolidated basis last year. It was analyzed that it would take time to improve the financial structure.

Hyosung Chemical's net debt on a consolidated basis increased from 903.4 billion won in 2018 to 2.52 trillion won as of the end of March this year because of the burden of large-scale facility investment.

"Due to the slowdown in the polypropylene (PP) industry and the sluggish performance of the Vietnamese subsidiary, operating losses are occurring, and debt coverage and financial stability indicators are significantly declining," commented Korea Investors Service.

We remind, Hyosung Chemical announced that it will invest USD120 million in its Vietnamese subsidiary, Hyosung Vina Chemicals Co. Hyosung Vina Chemicals is a company that makes propylene and polypropylene.