Japan's JX to restart naphtha cracker by end-March

(Reuters) -- Japan's JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp, an oil refining unit of JX Holdings, said on Tuesday it expects to restart its quake-hit Kawasaki naphtha cracker, with ethylene production capacity of 404 KTa, by the end of March.

The cracker has been shut since a magnitude 9.0 quake hit northeastern Japan. A company spokesman said product shipments were continuing.


Klockner Pentaplast acquired PP and PS films commercial activities from AMB

(Klockner Pentaplast) -- The Klockner Pentaplast Group announced today that it
has acquired the polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS) mono- and multi-layer rigid films
commercial activities from AMB s.r.l. (San Daniele del Fruili, Italy) for an undisclosed sum. PP and
PS mono- and multi-layer rigid films are used primarily in food and thermoforming applications.
AMB will continue to operate the San Daniele del Fruili, Italy, facility for the production of its other
product lines.

The Klockner Pentaplast Group is the world's leading producer of films for pharmaceutical,
medical device, food, electronics, and general-purpose thermoform packaging, as well as printing
and specialty applications. Founded in 1965 in Montabaur, Germany, Klockner Pentaplast has
grown from its initial facility to 19 current production operations in 11 countries.


PET imports to Russia in February grew by three times

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Import supplies of PET to Russia in February 2011 grew more than by three times compared to January and made 34.2 KT, according to MRC DataScope. Despite growing prices for PET, in February import supplies of PET increased by 27 KT. It has been a maximum parameter of PET imports since July 2008.

Some changes also happened in the structure of import supplies. The main suppliers are still producers from South Korea and China. Last month imports from these countries grew to 14.6 KT and 13.3 KT respectively. At that supplies from Germany and UAE considerably grew.

Russian companies haven't worked before systematically with Indian producer of PET - JBF Industries. Last year overall imports of polymer from this producer made only 2.3 KT while this February PET supplies from this company plant in UAE has exceeded 4 KT.


Asian styrene butadiene rubber prices have rebounded sharply

(ICIS) -- Asian styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) prices have rebounded sharply on surging natural rubber (NR) prices and are likely to remain firm on news that major automakers in Japan are restarting their operations, industry sources said on Wednesday. Spot offers for non-oil grade 1502 SBR have been raised by USD 100-200/tonne to USD 4.000-4.100/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Southeast (SE) Asia and India, according to several Asian SBR producers.

The surge in demand for SBR is driven by soaring NR prices as well as improved sentiment, following news that major Japanese automakers, including Nissan and Mazda are resuming production this week after a massive earthquake struck Japan on 11 March.

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake, which triggered off a tsunami, caused extensive damage to Japan's infrastructure and disrupted power supply, crippling production down the supply chain.

Major Japanese automakers including Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda as well as tyre producers such as Bridgestone, Toyo Tire & Rubber and Yokohama Rubber and SBR producers, including Zeon and JSR Corp, had to reduce or halt production in the wake of the natural disaster.


Dow Polyurethanes presented new insulation technology

(Plastemart) -- Dow Polyurethanes, a business unit within The Dow Chemical Company, along with Haier, presented a Dow-patented breakthrough rigid polyurethane insulation technology for household refrigerators and freezers. PASCAL technology is an advanced combination of excellent polyurethane insulation and efficient appliance case filling that addresses the productivity needs of manufacturers and the energy efficiency demands of consumers. PASCAL technology increases energy efficiency in refrigerators and freezers and supports appliance companies to meet the energy efficiency standards of governments around the world for the next 25 years.