Azelis buys flavors, fragrances distributor in France

Azelis buys flavors, fragrances distributor in France

Azelis, a leading innovation service provider in the specialty chemicals and food ingredients industry, announces that it has acquired 100% of the shares of BLH SAS (“BLH”), a well-known distributor of flavors & fragrances focused on the fine perfumery market in France, said the company.

The acquisition strengthens Azelis’ global footprint in flavors & fragrances, which was created over the last two years following the acquisition of Quimdis in France, Vigon in America and Ashapura in India.Experts in the distribution of premium fragrance ingredients, BLH’s attractive portfolio perfectly complements the current natural ingredient ranges offered by Azelis. The transaction is expected to close in November.

A family-owned business founded in 1983, BLH has developed long-standing relationships with global blue-chip suppliers and a diverse portfolio of specialty ingredients, creating a strong market expertise in fine perfumery under the leadership of Philippe Becot. The company is currently led by Nicolas Becot, who will stay on to ensure successful integration, as well as continued development of the business. The company employs 42 experienced and highly qualified staff and operates a laboratory in the Grasse region, in the southeast of France, serving 400 customers, including major players in the perfume industry.

We remind, Azelis, a leading innovation service provider in the specialty chemicals and food ingredients industry, announces today that Shiona Stewart will join the company in a senior management role as Managing Director of CASE in the United States. Commencing her role on November 7, 2023, Shiona will play a pivotal role in leading Azelis' CASE U.S. business, collaborating closely with the company's strategic principals to devise and implement a robust business strategy geared towards sustainable growth. Shiona will report to Vuk Milojkovic, Managing Director of Azelis U.S..

North American chem rail traffic rises for 10th week

North American chem rail traffic rises for 10th week

North American chemical rail traffic rose for a 10th consecutive week, with railcar loadings for the week ended 21 October up 3.7% year on year to 45,549, said the company.

For the first 42 weeks of 2023 ended 21 October, North American chemical rail traffic was down 1.0% year on year to 1,903,429 - with the US down 2.2% to 1,307,333.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, chemical producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

We remind, Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending October 14, 2023. For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 492,781 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.5 percent compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week ending October 14 were 225,405 carloads, down 2.0 percent compared with the same week in 2022, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 267,376 containers and trailers, up 2.8 percent compared to 2022.

Linde builds gases complex to supply Indian Oil refinery

Linde builds gases complex to supply Indian Oil refinery

Linde announced that its entities in India have signed long-term agreements for the supply of industrial gases to Indian Oil Corporation’s Panipat refinery in Northern India, said the company.

Linde’s entities will build, own and operate major new on-site facilities to supply hydrogen, nitrogen and compressed dry air to IndianOil. The new on-site facilities will support the multi-billion-dollar expansion of the Panipat refinery from 15 to 25 million metric tons per year.

Industrial gases play several important roles in refining, whether removing sulfur to make clean fuels, cracking crude oil into various products or purging and cleaning process equipment and control instruments.

Panipat will be the second large-scale hydrogen plant which is built, owned and operated by Linde entities for IndianOil. It will also be one of Linde’s largest on-site plants in India, with a total combined industrial gas production capacity of 142,200 cubic metres (Nm3) per hour. The plant is expected to start up in 2025.

In addition to supplying IndianOil, the new on-site complex will cater for demand for nitrogen from companies across end markets including chemicals & energy and manufacturing.

“We won this project on the basis of the best-in-class efficiency offered by our technology, plus Linde’s track record of safely and reliably supplying our customers,” said Moloy Banerjee, President ASEAN & South Asia, Linde. “We look forward to building on our existing relationship with IndianOil, while also increasing our network density in Northern India.”

We remind, Linde announced it has signed two major agreements in Brazil for the supply of renewable energy. White Martins, Linde’s subsidiary, has entered into agreements to secure more than two million megawatt hours per year of renewable energy, replacing almost half of its existing power usage in Brazil. Supply has already commenced from the Futura I Solar Complex, one of the largest photovoltaic parks in Latin America, and the Chui Wind Farm, in Rio Grande do Sul.

AkzoNobel Q3 net income surges on margin rebound

AkzoNobel Q3 net income surges on margin rebound

AkzoNobel's net income surged to €189m in the third quarter, supported by a rebound in gross margins in both its core decorative paints and performance coatings businesses, said the company.

Q3 revenue 4% down on unfavorable exchange rates. Decorative paints Q3 revenue down 3%, operating income up by 53%. Performance coatings Q3 revenue down 5%, operating income more than doubles to €245m from €98m in the same period of last year.

Based on current market conditions, AkzoNobel aims to deliver around €1.45bn in adjusted EBITDA this year. "AkzoNobel expects the ongoing macro-economic uncertainties to continue and weigh on organic volume growth. The company will focus on margin management, cost reduction, working capital normalisation and de-leveraging," it said.

Cost reduction programs are expected to partly mitigate higher than expected inflationary pressure on operating expenses for this year. The company expects declining raw material costs to have a favorable impact on profitability.

We remind, AkzoNobel has completed the acquisition of the Chinese decorative paints business of US-based Sherwin-Williams for an undisclosed fee. The transaction includes the Huarun decorative paints brand, the company said in a statement. The business has an annual revenue of about €100m and employs around 300 people.

Axalta opens new coating facility in China’s Jilin

Axalta opens new coating facility in China’s Jilin

US-based Axalta Coating Systems has inaugurated its new coating facility in northeast China’s Jilin city, Jilin province, according to a company news release.

The project can produce 15,800 tonnes of products annually. It will mainly make high-performance mobility coatings to meet the growing demand from China’s mobility sector.

Major products are waterborne primers and basecoats, as well as solvent primers, basecoats and clearcoats.

Construction of the project began in September 2021.

We remind, Axalta Coating Systems will be taking a pause before implementing it in other regions. The ERP implementation - launched on 1 May at 11 plants and many distribution centres in North America - resulted in “operational issues” and production constraints that were a factor in the 3.7% year-on-year volume decline Axalta saw during the quarter.