Key Capital Partners provided expansion financing to Wells Plastics

(MandaDeals) -- Key Capital Partners (KCP) has provided expansion financing to Wells Plastics, and taken a minority stake in the company. KCP has invested 3.8 million pounds in equity in the company, alongside senior debt facilities from Natwest and investment from incoming executive chairman, Paul Richardson. Members of the existing management team including sales and marketing director Carl Birch, technical director Andrew Barclay and former managing director David Nelson will retain a role at the company

The buy-out of the additive manufacturer will enable Wells Plastics to target markets in the Middle East, Africa and South America.

Staffordshire-based Wells produces specialist additives for plastic manufacturers and processors, which modify the properties of the plastic to improve characteristics such as UV and flame resistance.

Growth in demand for its Revert product, which speeds up the natural degradation process of plastic, such as carrier bags, has driven increased sales at Wells, according to a statement from the company.


Styron will present its plastics for the LED Lighting industry

(Styron) -- Styron, the global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, will present its plastics for the LED Lighting industry as an exhibitor at the 12th annual Strategies in Light show in Santa Clara, Calif. Among the products showcased will be Styron's innovative CALIBRE 301-58LT Polycarbonate Resin combining high light transmission, comparable to acrylics, with high melt flow ideal for LED Lighting applications.

Styron offers a broad spectrum of extrusion and injection molding grade polycarbonate resins and compound and blends under the brand names CALIBRE Polycarbonate Resins and EMERGE Advanced Resins. These materials feature properties required by the LED Lighting sector, i.e., high light transmission, excellent light diffusion, impact strength, heat resistance and UV stability, and are used in applications ranging from signs and retail displays to traffic signals and light sources in appliances.

The LED Lighting market is growing globally in response to environmental regulations and consumer preference for environmentally-friendly products. This has caused lighting to move from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents to light emitting diodes (LED), with regional and regulatory requirements dictating the pace of conversion.


Audi selected a new Softell polypropylene compound from LyondellBasell

(LyondellBasell) -- Audi has selected a new Softell polypropylene (PP) compound from LyondellBasell to manufacture the rear door panel of its new A1 model. Use of the new grade has enabled the auto maker to produce an interior part with exceptional surface aesthetics and soft-touch qualities, without the need for typically required painting.

Interior applications in premium-class models have been dominated by other polymer solutions such as PC/ABS (polycarbonate/acrynitril butadiene styrene) with soft-touch painting.

The gloss level of a conventional PP compound is between 2 and 3 GUs (measured at an angle of 60╟). Tests conducted using a gloss meter show that Softell resins have a gloss level below 1.5, which is required to achieve good matt surface characteristics. To attain this level of gloss, the use of soft-painted surfaces typically has been required.

Compared to traditional polymers, the grade also provides the automaker with improved flowability in high shear and injection molding conditions.


Global crude futures rose by more than $1/bbl

(ICIS) -- Global crude futures rose by more than $1/bbl (┬0.73/bbl) on Monday because of worries over supply disruptions from Libya, analysts said on Monday. The crude surge was likely to continue amid lingering concerns over the spread of political unrest in the Middle East and further monetary tightening by China, they added.

Brent crude futures were up by $1.19/bbl at $103.71/bbl, while WTI crude rose by $1.15/bbl to $87.35/bbl at 12:20 hours GMT on Monday, ICIS data showed.

The hike was fuelled by concerns over the protests in OPEC member Libya, where crowds called for the country's veteran leader, Col Muammar Gaddafi, to step down.

Anti-government protestors on Sunday rallied in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, seizing military bases and weapons as army units defected to the opposition, according to media reports.

Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa, with 44bn bbl as of January 2010, according to the US Energy Information Administration.


LyondellBasell's North American PE margins be pressured by supplier outages

(ICIS) -- LyondellBasell's North American polyethylene (PE) margins have continued to be pressured by supplier outages and rising feedstock costs, its chief executive said on Friday.

Speaking on an earnings conference call, CEO Jim Gallogly said the recent fire at Enterprise Products's natural gas liquids (NGL) plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas, had caused the near-term US market to be ⌠quite volatile.

In particular, US ethane and ethylene prices jumped almost immediately, while PE increases were still being negotiated, Gallogly said.

Producers were citing tight industry supply and the rising raw material costs as their rationale for PE increases, he said.

For LyondellBasell, supply was further tightened following the fire when it had to reduce rates and eventually shut down its 789,000 tonne/year La Porte cracker in Texas.

But the company said Friday that it planned to restart the cracker over the weekend, likely loosening supply.