Polimeri Europa to restart its LDPE line in France

(ICIS) -- Polimeri Europa plans to restart its 200 KTa low density polyethylene (LDPE) line at Dunkirk, France, following a prolonged shutdown that began at the end of August 2010, a company source said on Wednesday. With its new tubular reactor, the line is expected to be back on stream soon, the source said.

Polimeri Europa shut down the Dunkirk PE site for a two-month planned maintenance project in August last year.

While the site's 140 KTa linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant came back on line in November, the LDPE line has remained out of action and attempts to restart it have been unsuccessful.

The company declared force majeure in January, and this is expected to remain in place until a sustainable stock level is built, the source said.

The effects of the permanent closures of several older autoclave units in Europe in 2009 have made LDPE availability tight in recent months, and prices have risen to record-high levels.


ABS resin prices are trending lower on weak demand

(ICIS) -- Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resin prices are trending lower on weak demand and are likely to remain soft in the near term, producers and traders said on Thursday. Spot prices slipped to below USD 2.300/tonne (EUR 1.633/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) northeast (NE) Asia this week, ICIS data showed.

Demand for the resin has waned in the aftermath of the earthquake and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan and some traders were liquidating their stocks, said market players.

Buyers said they were hesitant to commit as they were unsure about the magnitude of the impact from the disruption of supply chains in Japan.

ABS is used to manufacture the moulds for office equipment such as fax machines, telephones and computer monitors.


BASF and Cognis presented their latest formulation concepts and innovations

(BASF) -- At this year's In-Cosmetics trade show, BASF and Cognis - which is now part of the BASF Group - presented their latest formulation concepts and innovations for personal care products. Together with their cosmetic active ingredients businesses, BASF Beauty Care Solutions and Laboratoires Serobiologiques (LS), the companies showed how their combined technical skills, market expertise and product ranges can even better help their customers meet the latest consumer demands.

During the show, a selection of new formulation concepts was presented for sun and skin care. For skin care, the focus was put on advanced photostable UVA protection as a key factor in the prevention of premature skin aging (photoaging). The formulation concept ⌠Daily Skin Treasure with Advanced UVA Protection is one example for a skin care lotion with optimal photostable UVA protection.

Also on show was the BASF Sunscreen Simulator, which has become a very popular in silico tool among the community of sunscreen developers worldwide. It enables formulators to see immediately how a given UV filter combination is likely to perform in terms of Sun Protection Factor and the various UVA metrics and criteria used in different countries and regions.


Ineos Oxide to expand its Ethylene Oxide and Ethylene Oxide Derivatives capacity

(INEOS) -- Ineos Oxide confirmed that it is considering plans to expand its Ethylene Oxide (EO) and Ethylene Oxide Derivatives (EOD) capacity as part of its strategy to grow its global business over the next few years. As part of its growth strategy Ineos'Oxide business is considering an investment in the US Gulf which would incorporate EO, Glycol and EOD's, building on its existing presence and experience in this market.

Various sites are currently under consideration in the Gulf Coast area as part of the company's growth strategy. Other locations globally are also being considered and confirmation of the location of the first investment is expected later this year.

Ineos has also confirmed that the construction of its new one million tonne per annum Ethylene Terminal, at its Zwijndrecht facilities in Belgium is progressing well. Operation of the new deep-sea terminal, announced in July 2010, is expected to start in 2012, as planned.


Three South Korean petrochemical makers shut down some of their naphtha crackers

(Reuters) -- Three South Korean petrochemical makers said on Tuesday that they will shut down some of their naphtha crackers for maintenance in April, meaning all five local players will proceed with scheduled shutdowns next month. Heavy cracker maintenance schedules through May have been weighing on Asian naphtha markets, which are also facing pressure from the loss of Japanese naphtha demand after the country's worst quake on record on March 11, according to traders.

Samsung Total Co Ltd will close its 850 KTa naphtha cracker for about a month from late April. Honam Petrochemical Corp will shut down a 750 KTa naphtha cracker for 10 days from April 1, their officials said.

Korea Petrochemical Ind Co Ltd (KPIC) will close its 460 KTa cracker from April 3-30, the officials said, adding that Honam would close another 1 million-tpy cracker for 30 days in October.

On March 17, rival LG Chem Ltd started a 30-day maintenance shutdown of its 800 KTa naphtha cracker to raise capacity by 100 KT. YNCC will shut down its largest 857 Kta naphtha cracker from April 5 as planned.