News and Developments

Excerpt: Plastics manufacturing set to grow at 20% in Gujarat: AIPMA

Plastics manufacturing set to grow at 20% in Gujarat: AIPMA

PLASTICS processing and manufacturing is set to grow at a healthy 20 per cent rate in Gujarat. This was stated by the All India Plastics Manufacturers' Association (AIPMA) in Ahmedabad recently.

“Gujarat is among the few states to enunciate a separate policy for the plastics industry. The activities are focused to derive more advantage from Gujarat's Scheme for Financial Assistance to Plastics Industry, available for an operative period from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2019. This stipulates interest subsidy and VAT incentives for companies manufacturing plastics," said Arvind M. Mehta, Chairman, Governing Council, AIPMA.

Gujarat, along with Maharashtra accounts for 65 per cent of the national plastics industry.

"AIPMA is working hard to bust the myths related to the plastics industry and retain the faith of the government and the common man. On our part, consistent representations are being made to the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals (DCPC) for strict rules to bag plastics and promote recycling. It has found use in space science, health, infrastructure, solar energy, printing and packaging as a viable alternative," added Kailash Murarka, Chairman, PLASTIVISION INDIA 2017 - the 10th edition of plastics expo to be held in Mumbai during January 19-23, 2017.

According to AIPMA, Indian plastics industry is growing at a rate of over 15 per cent against an average projected growth of 7.5 per cent. Nearly 50,000 micro, small and medium enterprises are involved in this industry. Plastics account for over 15 per cent of India's GDP.

Biocrux India develops personal recycling machine

A Biocrux machine

BIOCRUX India has developed a user friendly personal recycling machine which allows the consumer/common man to have the pleasure of recycling the pet bottle themself. One would just have to put it into the Biocrux plastic bottle crushing and flaking machine lying in the corner and be assured that the recycled flakes will find their way as an additive to alkyd, enamel or lacquer paint or as resin.

Pitched as the 360 degree solution for plastic waste, the recycling contraption has been developed by Biocrux India. It has been locally designed, fabricated and assembled to be used at the point of consumption.

“That is the USP of the Biocrux machine. It is meant for consumers to personally recycle the pet bottle once they have polished off its contents. It is ideal for public places, tourist spots, malls, fairs – wherever consumption is happening. We have installed it at the Elephanta caves in Mumbai where it is serving the public well,” says Ajay Mishra, the Founder Director & CEO. A chartered accountant who has worked in companies like Lakme Lever, L'Oreal India and Reliance Industries, Mishra decided to go it alone after what he witnessed in Mumbai during the devastating July 2005 floods where plastic bottles were overflowing and choking all the sewage channels. Living out his passion he began to spend weekends creating a machine that would turn the bottles into a useful substance.

He was soon joined by Asesh Sarkar, a polymer engineer who had rich experience in paints company Akzonobel for over 7 years. Now Managing Director of Biocrux, he believes in the virtue of frugality and the vision of open innovation.

The first Biocrux machine was installed in 2012 in Mumbai's Inorbit Mall. Today the contraptions are present in Pune and Bangalore as well and hope to reach another four to five cities before the financial year is over. “Bisleri was the first company that liked the product and came forward to sponsor the machines. Now others have also shown interest and installed them, starting a “PET neutral” drive among the employees. Biocrux India ensures that flakes from these are going to the right channel for recycling in the most sustainable way. Our approach saves a lot of CO2 emission in recycling, reduces transportation cost, fuel by 9-10 times on handling these wastes, saves two-thirds water compared to existing recycling process,” says Mishra.

He laments the state of waste management today and points out that two-thirds of the country's wastes are going to dump yards. He has found that municipalities exhaust 70 to 90 per cent of their budget on the logistics of waste clearance with almost no funds, time or energy spent on sustainable disposal. “Two-third of India's PET bottles are not getting recycled, these are either thrown or sometimes refilled with water for drinking and reselling.

The company, apart from providing the BIocrux machines, is now embarking on the second phase of the recycling by finding different uses for the flakes that are produced. It has already succeeded in using it as a paint addictive. “We are also looking at the possibility of turning the flakes into polyester yarn, or creating dust bins with it or using them to build temporary shelters. “The 360 degree cycle must be completed. The aim is that there is no reuse, no misuse of PET bottles and they do not land up in the landfills”.

Green panel defers nod to IOC's Rs. 593 cr Panipat Styrene project

A GREEN panel has deferred its decision on granting environment clearance to Indian Oil Corporation's Rs. 593 crore Styrene and Ethylene project at Panipat in Haryana, for want of more information. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) has proposed setting up of Styrene and Ethylene recovery units in the existing Panipat Naphtha Cracker Complex (PNCC) at a cost of Rs. 593 crore.

There is no Styrene producer in the country as of now and entire quantity is imported by Indian Synthetic Rubber Limited (ISRL). Since IOCL is a 50 per cent equity holder of ISRL, the proposed project will ensure steady supply of Styrene to the Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) unit of ISRL.

“The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) examined the IOCL's proposal in the recent meeting. After detailed deliberation, the committee sought additional information,” a senior Environment Ministry official said. The EAC has asked IOCL to provide reasons for high carbon monoxide (CO) in ambient air and measure sulphur dioxide (SO2 ) emissions from the existing unit and any additional SO2 emission from the proposed unit.

The company has been told to submit the action taken report on observations made by the Ministry's officials during a site visit to the butadiene plant.

“The proposal was deferred till the desired information is submitted and site visit is conducted by the sub-committee of EAC,” the official said.

The Panipat Naphtha Cracker Complex (PNCC) processes naphtha to produce ethylene and propylene streams for polymer units and Pyrolysis gasoline stream as by-product. Pyrolysis Gasoline is a feedstock for production of high purity Styrene. As per the proposal, IOCL will set up a standalone unit at PNCC with a capacity to recover 20 kilo tonnes per annum (KTA) Styrene using Pyrolysis Gasoline as a feedstock. The Styrene recovered from here would be supplied to the Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) plant at the same location.

SBR, which has an installed capacity of 120 KTA, at present uses Butadiene from PNCC as major feed stock along with 25 KTA of Styrene. IOCL has also proposed another unit — Ethylene Recovery Unit (ERU) - inside the PNCC to extract Ethylene (18.8 KTA), Ethane (73.6 KTA) and Propylene (12 KTA) from off gas of Panipat Refinery.

HPCL-Gail to divest upto 50% stake to strategic partners

STATE-OWNED refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL) and gas utility GAIL India Ltd will divest up to 50% stake in the Rs.30,000 crore petrochemical plant, which is being set up in Andhra Pradesh.

HPCL and GAIL are looking at setting up a 1 million tonnes (mt) ethylene derivatives plant, which will produce a wide range of petrochemical raw material for the manufacture of detergents, paints and coatings, cosmetics, textiles and adhesives.

“Currently, it is a 50:50 project but we are open to inducting a strategic partner,” said HPCL chairman and managing director Mukesh K. Surana

The project at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh will cost Rs.30,000 crore. “We are willing to give up to 50% stake in the project to the strategic partner,” he said.

Some global petrochem companies have shown interest in the project but talks are at preliminary stage currently, he said without disclosing details. The planned project is a truncated version of the earlier proposed refinery cum petrochemicals complex in Andhra Pradesh.

Surana said currently detailed feasibility report (DFR) is being prepared and details will work out following that. HPCL owns a 7.5mt tonnes refinery at Mumbai and a 8.3mt unit at Vizag. While the Vizag plant is being expanded to 15mt, HPCL is expanding the Mumbai refinery to 9.5mt at a cost of Rs.4,000 crore by 2019, he said. Vizag refinery will also be expanded to 15mt by 2020 at a cost of Rs.20,928 crore. It has also setting up a 9mt refinery at Barmer in Rajasthan at the cost of Rs.37,320 crore.

Minda forms plastics auto part joint venture in China

Minda China Plastic Solutions Ltd. will give Indian auto supplier Minda Corp. Ltd. access to China's auto industry.

INDIA'S Minda Corp. Ltd. and China's Shandong Beiqi Hai Hua Automobile Parts Co. have formed a 50/50 joint venture to make plastic auto parts. The venture, Minda China Plastic Solutions Ltd., will initially focus on plastic oil pans and cylinder heads, and other functional, underhood and interior components. Potential customers include global automakers with production plants in China, including Volkwagen, BMW and Daimler.

The venture also provides Noida- based Minda with production and marketing access to the China auto market, the companies said in a joint statement.

The companies said the venture will start production in the last quarter of 2017.

Shandong Beiqi Hai Hua is an automotive parts making subsidiary of Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. Ltd. (BAIC), a Beijing-based automaker.

The partners are investing US$12.5 million in the venture.

Minda has plastics manufacturing in Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland, and it is setting up a plant in Querétaro, Mexico. It employs around 14,000 and posted sales of $533 million in 2015.

MRPL plans to expand market for polypropylene

MANGALORE Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), which is planning to expand market for polypropylene, is targeting to sell around 0.44 mln tons (mt) of polypropylene a year, as per press. The 28th annual report of MRPL for 2015-16 said that the company has successfully penetrated the polypropylene market in a short span of nine months with a sales volume of 0.139 mt and sales value of ?1,039 crore. The company is in the process of expanding its market reach in order to sell 0.44 mt of polypropylene a year.

To leverage the highly profitable polypropylene and to position MRPL as a niche player, comprehensive pricing of various grades of polypropylene has been put in place along with customer enrolment activity. Del Credere Agents cum Consignment Stockist has been appointed to partner MRPL in addressing major demand clusters in the south and west of India. The aromatics complex of OMPL, which produces paraxylene and benzene in Mangalore Special Economic Zone, started its operations from October 1, 2014. OMPL's aromatic complex has the capacity to produce 0.914 mln tpa of paraxylene and 0.283 mln tpa of benzene.

Haldia Petrochem poised to post a three-fold increase in its top line for 2015-16

HALDIA Petrochemicals is set to post a three-fold increase of in its top line at Rs 10,000 crore for 2015-2016, as per company sources. In 2014-15, plant shutdown from July 2014 to January 2015 due to acute cash crunch pulled down revenue at only Rs 3,097 crore. In 2013-14, HPL earned Rs 8,130 crore though posting net losses.

“At this time, the economy is upbeat as we too are upscale and are utilising 95% of the 7 million tons of installed capacity,” a senior HPL official told Business Standard. For 2014-15, HPL's gross profit stood at Rs 498.6 crore. For 2015-16, too, the firm is bullish on reaping profits. Nevertheless, its accumulated consolidated losses account for Rs 3,662 crore as on March 31, 2015.

During 2011-12, the situation in HPL started worsening as operations got seriously affected due to cash crunch, taking the company on the verge of being reported to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction. This implied that its accumulated losses were half its peak net worth. While the debt situation of HPL has remained stagnant at Rs 4,000 crore, the company has been able to stage a turnaround last year, improving its operating margins.

As on April 23, 2016, HPL's assets stood at Rs 264 crore. Nevertheless, servicing the existing loans, which account for Rs 630 crore a year will continue to be a drag on the company. “We are now aiming to consolidate our business entities so that we may improve our operational performance,” a senior HPL official told media

It has already approached the Calcutta High Court to amalgamate Haldia Cracker Complex (HCCL) and Bengal Cracker Complex (BCCL) – its wholly owned subsidiaries - with itself, which will increase the company's paid- up capital.

HCCL has a paid-up capital of Rs 617.56 crore, while BCCL has a Rs 203 crore paid-up capital which will get added to the Rs 1,959 crore paid-up capital of HPL after the merger.

Cooper Standard opens new India headquarters

Cooper Standard Automotive Inc. celebrated the opening of its new India headquarters and technical center in Pune on Aug. 26.

The facility — relocated from its previous location about 900 miles north in Sahibabad, India — employs about 40 people at a 6,000-square-foot facility and designs sealing components as well as fuel and brake delivery products. NEWS ROUND-UP

The firm did not disclose investment details. It now operates 32 facilities in the Asia-Pacific region, 11 in India, 13 in China, five in Korea, two in Japan and one in Thailand.

“Today's opening of our new India headquarters in Pune is another milestone in Cooper Standard's profitable growth strategy,” Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Edwards said in a statement. “India is a key region in the automotive market, and this new facility enables us to better serve both our global customers in the region as well as customers in the rapidly growing local market.”

Headquartered in Novi, Mich., Cooper Standard is a global automotive supplier of rubber and plastic sealing, fuel and brake lines, fluid transfer hoses, and anti-vibration systems. It employs about 30,000 people with operations in 20 counties.

Essar Oil to invest Rs1,200 crore in Vadinar refinery

ESSAR Oil Limited said recently that it will invest an additional Rs.1200 crore over the next two-to-three years to upgrade its Vadinar refinery in Gujarat to boost refinery margins by $1.5 per barrel. The company, controlled by the Ruia family is also weighing the option of reviving its petrochemical complex project with an investment of around $1-1.5 billion.

The move comes when the company is in talks with Russia's state-owned petroleum explorer Rosneft to sell over 49% stake in Essar Oil, according to an announcement made by the two companies in July 2015.

Essar Oil which runs a 20 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) capacity refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat, has already earmarked and acquired land which around 5km away from the refinery to develop a petrochemical complex that would produce gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and propylene among other products.

“We do have a plan to set up a petrochemical complex near Vadinar. The proposed project would include a 5- million-tonne-a-year fluid catalytic cracker costing $1-1.5 billion. We cannot talk much about this as the project is yet to be approved by the company's board,” Lalit Kumar Gupta, managing director and chief executive officer of Essar Oil, said over the phone.

The proposed complex, if finalized, may also house a polypropylene plant at a later stage looking at the demand that is growing by 10-15% per annum, according to Gupta.

The company's plans for new investment are on, said a company official with knowledge of the development. He did not wish to be named. He said that the petrochemical project would take shape once the Rosneft deal is through which is expected soon.

“Fresh investment is being made to upgrade its naphtha hydro treater (NHT), isomerisation unit, continuous catalytic reformer units and also facilities for further recovery of sulphur to further improve its margins,” Essar Oil said in a press statement recently.

In the quarter ended 30 June 2016, the refinery registered a gross refining margins of $10.29 per barrel (unaudited), bettering the Internatinal Energy Agency margin for Singapore complex refineries by around $6 per barrel. Gross refining margins are realisations from turning every barrel of crude oil into finished products.

Skipper to set up facility for engineering and polymer products in Assam

SKIPPER Ltd, a manufacturer of transmission tower & poles, and plastic pipes & fittings, will invest Rs 70 crore to build a new manufacturing unit for engineering products and polymer moulded products at Guwahati, Assam. “The board of directors has in-principal approved setting up of a new unit for engineering products and polymer moulded products at Guwahati, Assam, with an approximately investment of Rs 70 crore,” said Skipper Ltd in a BSE filing on August 8, 2016.

This will be the company fourth unit for engineering product and sixth unit for polymer products. The installed capacity for the proposed unit will be 30,000 tonne for engineering product and 7000 tonne for polymer products.

One of the rationales behind this project is to take advantage of all the available tax exemptions, incentives and other associated benefits extended by the centre and state for setting up manufacturing units in the region.

Besides, it will help Skipper to tap the growing demands for transmission & distribution (T&D) products in the North East region on account of large upcoming projects of Power Grid Corporation of India. In fact, the company recently got Power Grid approval for its distribution pole business enabling it to tap the large potential pole requirements for upcoming Power Grid projects in North East region.

The new unit will also enable Skipper, a flagship company of the SK Bansal Group, to manufacture high value CPVC and UPVC to feed all its existing pipe units across the country.

Meanwhile Skipper Ltd, has set up a manufacturing unit in Bollaram near Hyderabad. Commercial production is all set to begin in the plant set up with an investment of about Rs. 10 crore. The plant, with an installed capacity to produce 6,000 tonnes per annum of both plumbing and agricultural pipes, will target the entire southern market spanning Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, said Devesh Bansal, Director, Skipper Ltd.. "Our target is to reach one lakh tonnes capacity in the next two to three years," Bansal said.

The total market for PVC pipes in the country is estimated at Rs. 16,000 crore and is growing at 8 per cent, according to industry estimates.

With the opening of this new plant, Kolkata - based Skipper has manufacturing units in five locations including Uluberia (Howrah), Guwahati, Sikandrabad and Ahmedabad with a total production capacity of 41,000 tonnes.

SRF to invest Rs. 345-cr. in new plants for chloromethane and speciality chemicals

THE board of SRF Ltd., a company operating in the technical textiles, fluorochemicals, speciality chemicals, engineering plastics and packaging films segments, has approved two separate capital expenditure proposals totalling Rs. 345-crore.

“One of the proposals pertains to setting up a multi-purpose plant for specialty chemicals at an estimated cost of Rs. 180-crore and second one is for chloromethane plant at an estimated cost of Rs. 165-crore in its chemical complex at Dahej, Gujarat,” the company said in a statement.

The company added that the multi- purpose plant is expected to further augment SRF's capability to develop and commercialise new molecules for agrochemicals and pharmaceutical sectors. The second project will double SRF's capacity for chloromethane to 80,000 tonnes per annum. The existing plant is in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan.

Chloromethane plant

The new chloromethane plant with an annual capacity of 40,000 tonnes is scheduled to be commissioned in December 2017. The plant will enable SRF to meet the growing needs of its pharma customers for methylene dichloride (MDC) and will strengthen its foothold in the Indian market, which remains a net importer of MDC. Besides, MDC is a key raw material for HFC 32, the refrigerant that SRF recently started manufacturing at its Bhiwadi plant with its own technology. The new plant will thus make SRF the only Indian integrated producer of HFC-32, a refrigerant to be increasingly used in room air-conditioners in future.

Apart from its usage as a solvent in the growing pharmaceutical drugs, MDC is also used for various applications such as foam blowing segments, aerosols, polycarbonate resins and adhesive formulations. Chloroform is mainly used as raw material to manufacture HCFC-22 and also in pharma and carbon tetrachloride as feedstock in agrochemical intermediates.

SRF will thus consume a large part of chloroform for manufacturing HCFC- 22, which will be increasingly used as a feedstock for speciality chemicals, a business of SRF that has been growing steadily for last five to six years. Similarly, the captive consumption of carbon tetrachloride at SRF will also increase as feedstock for its speciality chemicals.

“SRF is, therefore, uniquely positioned to leverage the opportunity as it has the capability for captive consumption of the other two ingredients, chloroform and carbon tetra chloride,” the company added in a statement.

The chloromethanes along with trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE) and dilute hydrofluoric (DHF) acid jointly form SRF's port-folio of solvent products under its fluorochemicals business. The other products of the business include a wide range of refrigerants, sold under the brand name of 'Floron' and 'Dymel'.

SABIC helps upgrade polymer laboratory at Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

THE Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (M.S. University) has extensively modernised its polymer laboratory with support from Saudi Arabia based chemical giant, SABIC. The upgraded laboratory was unveiled recently at the university by Mr. Janardhanan Ramanujalu, Vice President, SABIC South Asia and ANZ and Prof. Parimal Vyas, Vice Chancellor, M.S. University.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ramanujalu said, “Education is one of the key focus areas of our CSR strategy and SABIC's expertise in the polymers industry allowed us to evaluate needs and gaps of the polymer laboratory of The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. This is the culmination of our 3- year programme to bridge the gap and transform it into a hi-tech laboratory.”

The laboratory is now home to international-standard lab equipment such as a lab scale extruder with feeder and pelletiser, injection moulding machine, universal testing machine and a melt flow index measurement instrument with accessories. Its infrastructure has also been revamped, with the upgrading of its electrical distribution system and the replacement with energy efficient LED lights.

“The modernisation of the polymer laboratory was aimed at creating a learning environment which would encourage university students from graduate level to Ph.D. level to participate in hands-on learning of polymer sciences,” SABIC said.

SABIC's global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, known as 'RAISE', promotes giving back to and supporting the communities where SABIC operates and its employees live.

Reliance Industries to commission projects worth $35- bn in FY17

RELIANCE Industries Ltd. (RIL) expects to commission projects involving a total investment of $35-bn in 2016-17. These include petrochemical expansion projects that would place RIL among the top 10 global producers in that sector, the company said in its annual report for 2015-16. RIL has also sought shareholders' approval to raise Rs. 10,000-crore through non- convertible debentures (NCDs) this fiscal year.

“In the polyester chain, we added substantial volumes in an effort to further integrate our business ...Reliance is confident of placing all our incremental output from the new projects in the domestic markets to meet India's growing demand,” Chairman Mr. Mukesh Ambani said in a letter to shareholders. RIL said its petrochemical plant expansion was on schedule and would provide the company the capacity and earning potential of a top producer in the world. During the year, RIL and its subsidiaries arranged long-term foreign currency facilities of about $6.3- bn. RIL, which reported a gross refining margin of $10.8 a barrel in 2015-16, managing to outperform the Singapore benchmark with a premium of $3.3 a barrel, expects margin pressure, but hopes to perform better than the benchmark.

“The ability to operate at high utilisation levels and switch product slate enabled RIL to capture margin optimisation opportunities in the market. Overall, effective utilisation of secondary processing units, innovative approach to optimise logistics cost and utilisation, production flexibility to swing to higher netback products and sourcing of best value crude and feedstock enabled RIL to sustain its performance even in a challenging margin environment,” the company said. RIL said it expanded its fuel retail pump network to 1,000. It sees opportunity for further expansion.

Vikas Ecotech records 72% jump in sales in Q1 Fy17

THE New Delhi based Vikas Ecotech, a manufacturer of high-end specialty chemicals, has recorded a net revenue of Rs 101 crores as compared to Rs 59 crores in the corresponding period of the previous year, an increase of 72 percent. Profit before interest, depreciation and tax was at Rs 18 crores, higher by 262 percent from Rs 5 crores in the same period of the previous year. The company achieved higher turnover and at the same time improved profits. New client wins along with better realisations helped it with revenues while cost and operational efficiency contributed to the bottom line. Vikas Ecotech's exports also witnessed a jump from Rs 19 crores to Rs 55 crores, a substantial 188 percent growth.

Vikas Garg, managing director, Vikas Ecotech, said, “We have posted a good performance this quarter with some major initial customer successes in Latin America, Europe and Middle East. Our products are receiving good response from global leaders due to high standards of quality and efficiency. Our growth strategy continues to be driven on the 3 pillars - innovation & R&D driven new product development, capacity enhancement to meet market demand and new customer wins across the globe.”

During the quarter the company won new clients both in India and through the exports division. These client wins will aid revenue maximization in the future.

Vikas Eco have been chosen and has started trial orders for one of Mexico's leading petrochemical giant for organo tin stabilisers. This will translate into commercial orders from Q3 of this financial year. “Our products are meeting international standards of quality and we see several interests from the LatAm (Latin America) market,” the company added.

Rest of the client additions were from the domestic market from sectors such as PVC pipes and moulding, footwear sole, automobiles and packaging.

During the quarter the company commenced the construction of its manufacturing plant and innovation (R&D) center at Dahej, Gujarat. This is the third plant of Vikas Ecotech. With a capex of Rs 30 crores, the plant will produce 6,000 MT of organotin stabilisers (methyl tin mercaptide) and 5,000 MT of special polymer compounds annually.

“The regulatory certification process for our products in key international markets like USA and other developed countries are at various advanced stages. Once we receive the go ahead from the regulators of each country or region, it will help us enter advanced economies that have a burgeoning demand for 'eco- friendly' specialty chemicals,” said the company.

The Indian PVC industry is voluntarily moving towards the concept of 'eco-friendly pipes & plumbing' - replacing lead-based chemical applications with lead-free chemical applications as raw material inputs. As a result, Vikas Ecotech is witnessing a big demand for its lead free replacements from PVC manufacturers.

Indorama Ventures & Cepsa Join Hands for Metaxylene Supply Agreement

INDORAMA Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) and Cepsa have announced the expansion of their strategic partnership with the signing of an exclusive supply agreement for metaxylene, a key feedstock for the production of Isopthalic Acid (“IPA”), a high value-added chemical additive used in the manufacture of PET, coatings and other resins.

Following the supply agreement, Cepsa will construct its second metaxylene unit for exclusive supply to IVL. The new Sorbex unit, a near replication of the existing unit, will have a capacity up to 70,000 metric tons per annum. Together with the existing metaxylene unit, Cepsa will be able to supply the entire production to Indorama Ventures' co-located site, which is integrated with Cepsa's refinery in San Roque, Cádiz, Spain. The additional new supply is expected to come on-stream in 2018.

Indorama Ventures acquired the vertically-integrated business of IPA, PTA and PET from Cepsa in Spain in April 2016 and expects to make further investments at this location to improve the capacity, reliability of supply and service of goods to customers in a competitive environment, maintaining the site's excellent track record driven by its dedicated and passionate employees. Mr. Aloke Lohia, Group CEO of IVL said, “This agreement will allow us to cater to our customers' growing IPA needs globally, from a reliable production platform with proven technology and a competitive supply chain infrastructure. The global IPA market is growing at five percent per annum and it is our responsibility as a leader to support the growth effectively.”

Henkel delivers strong second- quarter performance

“HENKEL delivered a strong business performance in the second quarter. We generated solid organic sales growth, supported by a strong development in the emerging markets and a positive development in the mature markets. We were also able to significantly increase both earnings and profitability. Adjusted earnings per preferred share grew by 8.5 percent to 1.40 euros and adjusted return on sales rose to 17.6 percent, representing new record levels for Henkel. The successful development of Henkel was driven by all three business units,” said Henkel CEO Hans Van Bylen. “I would like to thank our global team which contributed to the strong performance in the second quarter.”

“We are also very excited about the acquisition of The Sun Products Corporation which we agreed on in the second quarter. This will be a step- change for our position in North America, one of the most important regions for Henkel worldwide. Upon closing of this transaction, we will reach the No. 2 position in the US laundry care market.”

Commenting on the current fiscal year, Van Bylen said: “We are facing a market environment which is becoming increasingly challenging, with moderate global economic growth, slowing growth dynamics, high uncertainties in the markets and unfavorable foreign exchange developments. We are committed to reaching our ambitious targets and will focus on leveraging our innovation capabilities, our strong brands and our leading market positions.”

Guidance for full year adjusted EBIT margin raised

“For the full fiscal year 2016, we continue to expect organic sales growth of 2 to 4 percent and our adjusted earnings per preferred share to grow between 8 and 11 percent. For adjusted EBIT margin, we now anticipate an increase to more than 16.5 percent. We had previously expected this figure to reach approximately 16.5 percent,” said Hans Van Bylen.

Sales and earnings performance in the second quarter 2016

In the second quarter of 2016, Henkel generated organic sales growth – i.e. adjusted for foreign exchange and acquisitions/divestments – of 3.2 percent. Nominally, sales decreased by 0.9 percent to 4,654 million euros due to a negative foreign exchange impact of 5.3 percent.

Adhesive Technologies Business unit performance

The Adhesive Technologies business unit generated solid organic sales growth of 2.6 percent in the second quarter. Nominally, sales amounted to 2,290 million euros after 2,343 million euros in the prior-year quarter.

The emerging markets continued their successful performance with further solid organic sales growth. Both Latin America and Eastern Europe experienced double-digit organic sales growth. Sales in Africa/Middle East showed a solid growth rate. In the Asia region (excluding Japan), sales were slightly below the level of the prior-year quarter, due particularly to weakening economic growth in China. Sales performance in the mature markets was positive as a whole. The businesses in Western Europe achieved solid sales growth. However, sales in the mature markets of the Asia-Pacific region remained below the level of the second quarter of 2015. In North America, sales were just below the level of the prior- year quarter.

Adjusted operating profit at the Adhesive Technologies business unit increased year on year by a very strong 7.1 percent to 426 million euros. Adjusted return on sales improved by an excellent 1.6 percentage points to a new high of 18.6 percent. Reported operating profit rose by 3.7 percent to 403 million euros.

Regional performance in the second quarter 2016

In a highly competitive market environment, Henkel's sales in the Western Europe region increased organically by 1.1 percent. In particular, the countries of Southern Europe along with the UK posted very strong performance, while sales in France and Benelux decreased. Nominally, sales in the region increased by 1.4 percent to 1,585 million euros. In Eastern Europe, sales grew organically by 9.7 percent in a challenging market environment. The main contribution to this performance came from the businesses in Russia, Turkey and Poland. Nominal sales in the region totaled 698 million euros (prior- year quarter: 707 million euros). Growth in the Africa/Middle East region continued to be impacted by the geopolitical unrest prevailing in some countries. Nevertheless, organic sales growth was at 4.4 percent. Nominal sales amounted to 333 million euros after 342 million euros in the second quarter of 2015.

Sales in the North America region increased organically by 1.8 percent. At 932 million euros, nominal sales were at prior-year level (prior-year quarter: 934 million euros). Organic sales in Latin America increased double-digit by 11.0 percent, with business performance in Mexico making a significant contribution to this improvement. Nominal sales amounted to 266 million euros following 292 million euros in the prior-year quarter. Sales in the Asia- Pacific region grew organically by 0.4 percent. This positive organic improvement resulted primarily from business performance in India and South Korea, while performance in China declined. At 808 million euros, nominal sales were below the level of the second quarter of 2015 (826 million euros).

With an increase in organic sales – driven by all three business units – of 6.1 percent, the emerging markets again made an above-average contribution to the organic growth of the Group. Due to negative foreign exchange effects, nominal sales decreased by 4.0 percent to 1,964 million euros. Hence, at 42 percent, the share of Group sales from emerging markets was slightly below the level of the second quarter of 2015. In the mature markets, sales grew organically by 1.0 percent to 2,659 million euros.

Outlook for the Henkel Group in 2016

Henkel has updated its guidance for fiscal 2016. Henkel continues to expect to generate organic sales growth of 2 to 4 percent, with each business unit generating growth within this range. Regarding the share of sales from emerging markets, Henkel now anticipates a slight decrease compared to the prior-year level due to foreign exchange effects. For adjusted return on sales (EBIT), Henkel now expects an increase to more than 16.5 percent and the adjusted return on sales of each individual business unit is expected to be above the level of the previous year. Henkel continues to expect an increase in adjusted earnings per preferred share of between 8 and 11 percent.

Auto supplier ZKW expanding globally

AUSTRIAN auto lighting supplier ZKW Group is continuing to expand its production capacity on three continents after recording record sales in 2015 of 728 million euros ($813 million).

The group, based in Wieselburg, Austria, develops and manufactures premium lighting systems at plants in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, China, India, Mexico. It also has a sales and development office in Troy, Mich.

Last year, ZKW completed the addition of two more production facilities, taking the manufacturing area to 13,000 square meters at its plant in Vratimov, Czech Republic. This plant also makes wiring harnesses for the auto industry.

The group has also finished the second and final expansion stages at its China plant in Dalian growing the production space to 35,000 square meters.

In May, ZKW opened a new $70 million headlights plant with a production hall of almost 22,000 square meters at Silao, Mexico. The facility, which is set to create 320 jobs by 2018, is expected to reach its full annual 700,000 headlamps capacity with yearly sales of around $86.5 million into the NAFTA trade area in 2019.

The plant is equipped with the latest technology including hard coating systems for plastic headlights, with a range of injection machines and metallising lines for processing light reflectors.

The site will support ZKW's growth in "premium" headlights for North America, the company said.

ZKW's strategic goal for this year is continued growth and further expansion of regional capacities. “We will continue to focus on developing and manufacturing premium front lighting systems and innovative LED electronic modules for vehicles.

“With the next growth steps we expect to increase sales by around 25 percent to approximately 916 million euros ($1 billion) in the current fiscal year,” said group CEO Oliver Schubert.

His firm is already extending production at its main Austrian site in Wieselburg where it is investing 35 million euros ($39 million) in a new lens production plant to open in September. ZKW completed a new ultra modern coating center which will turn out up to 3 million hard coated diffusion discs a year on the nearby Haag industrial zone.

This autumn, ZKW will start work on expanding its electronics production base at its second Austrian site of Wiener Neustadt.

Overall, the group increased its international workforce from 4,700 to more than 6,000 as a result of the major expansion projects last year.

DSM and NHU inaugurate joint venture to produce high performance PPS compounds

ROYAL DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, and specialty chemicals producer Zhejiang NHU Special Materials Co., Ltd. (NHU), have officially inaugurated their joint venture company for polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) compounds, DSM NHU Engineering Plastics (Zhejiang) Co Ltd. The JV, which was announced May 2015, has been established in Zhejiang province, close to NHU's linear PPS polymer plant in Shangyu, for manufacturing of the high performance compounds.

DSM has a 60% share in DSM NHU Engineering Plastics (Zhejiang) Co Ltd., with NHU holding the remaining 40%. Products, which are branded Xytron™ PPS, are marketed globally and targeted principally at automotive, electrical and electronics, water management and industrial markets. DSM will be marketing the product globally, including China. The PPS polymer plant operated by NHU uses proven technology to provide high quality base polymer for the compounds. The joint venture will take over NHU's existing compounding capacity. DSM for its part brings its long-standing expertise in application development and materials science, as well as access to its global customer network.

“Xytron PPS compounds will further enhance DSM's offering in the high temperature performance engineering plastics space, adding to our leadership positions with Stanyl polyamide 46 and our ForTii polyamide 4T,” says Roeland Polet, President DSM Engineering Plastics. “They also complement our offerings in Akulon polyamide 6 and 66, and in Arnite and Arnitel thermoplastic polyesters for engineering applications.” “We now have a strengthened portfolio of solutions for customers operating in key markets. Strategic customers have welcomed the addition of PPS to our portfolio and are eager for us to develop new materials and applications.”

DSM NHU Engineering Plastics (Zhejiang) Co Ltd. is initially offering two standard commercial grades. These are Xytron G4010T, containing 40% glass fiber reinforcement, and Xytron M6510A, which contains 65% glass fiber and mineral filler. Recently DSM has added to its portfolio a 30% glass reinforced grade and a 40% glass reinforced low chlorine grade (especially important for electronic applications) which are currently being evaluated by customers. Grades under development include types with enhanced wear resistance and low friction, with high flow/low flash, and with increased impact strength.

In the run-up to the official inauguration, the joint venture has already captured business in three important applications in both China and Europe, with materials currently being evaluated by numerous customers, including key automotive OEMs and Tier Ones. One of the three products already commercialized is an engine block heater for electric generators, which is required to operate in continuous contact with water at temperatures between 35 and 50°C.

Showa Denko & JX Nippon to buy LyondellBasell's Stake in Polypropylene JV

SHOWA Denko K.K., JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation and LyondellBasell Group have reached final agreement concerning the sale/purchase of LyondellBasell's shares in SunAllomer Ltd. (SunAllomer), a joint venture company among the three parties for production and sale of polypropylene.

SDK Sunrise Investment (SSI), owned by SDK and JX, will purchase LYB's 50% stake in SunAllomer effective August 31, 2016. After the acquisition, an absorption-type merger of SSI and SunAllomer will take place on November 1, 2016 with SunAllomer as the surviving company. The partnership between SunAllomer and LYB in various areas, including technology, marketing, and sales, will be maintained as at present. Tokyo-headquartered SunAllomer has total PP capacity of 408,000 tpa producing 281,000 tpa in Oita and 127,000 tpa in Kawasaki. For SDK and JX, the polypropylene business constitutes a key element in their olefin chains. Taking this opportunity of acquiring additional shares, the two companies will further strengthen cooperation with SunAllomer, thereby enhancing the competitive power of their polypropylene business.

DuPont Performance Materials inaugurates largest engineering plastics compounding plant

DUPONT Performance Materials (DuPont) has formally expanded its capacity by inaugurating its largest engineering plastics compounding plant located in the Guangming New District, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. The site produces a variety of DuPont products, including Zytel polyamide (PA), Crastin (PBT), Delrin acetal (POM) resins, Bynel adhesive resins, and Fusabond resins, to primarily serve automotive, industrial and consumer, and packaging markets in both China and the Asia Pacific region.

The new state-of-the-art facility incorporates the latest compounding technologies and features a number of innovations to deliver consistent high quality and increased productivity. Notably, DuPont collaborated closely with the extrusion equipment builder during the research and development phase to create a production setup that allows faster transitions between different product families to provide greater asset flexibility to meet customer needs with shorter delivery cycles. “This investment reinforces our commitment to meet the growing needs of our customers and will provide increased capacity, greater asset flexibility and speed to respond to demand changes. The technology advancements enable consistent delivery of high quality product and will strengthen our position as a market leader with innovative, high- quality DuPont products produced in a timely and responsive manner,” stated Randy Stone, president, DuPont Performance Materials.

Designed with future expansions in mind, this new compounding facility is the largest in DuPont's global manufacturing network. The larger extruders installed deliver a higher volume output with increased efficiency. Furthermore, a greater level of automation from silo to extruder is beneficial for product uniformity and quality. Product packaging also is fully automated at the new facility.

“This is a major investment in DuPont Performance Materials' largest market, China, and in our fastest growing area, Asia. It complements our extended global operations network and demonstrates our commitment to growth in China and Asia Pacific. DuPont started its China growth journey from Shenzhen 27 years ago. We remain committed to participating and contributing to China's drive for sustainable development, leveraging DuPont's scientific innovation capabilities,” said Tony Su, president, DuPont Asia Pacific.

New recycling method for carbon fiber composites could reduce waste

RESEARCHERS at Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a method to recycle nearly 100% of the materials in certain types of thermoset carbon fiber composites.

The new method involves soaking the composites in an alcohol solvent, which slowly dissolves the epoxy that binds and gives shape to the carbon fibers. Once dissolved, the carbon fibers and the epoxy can be separated and used in new applications.

“This method we think could have a lot of immediate industrial applications, with lots economical and environment benefits,” said Kai Yu, a postdoctoral researcher in The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. The study, which was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Singapore A*Star Public Sector Fund and the Singapore NRF-supported Digital Manufacturing and Design Centre(DManD), was published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

Carbon fiber – prized for its strength and light weight – is used widely in applications from aerospace to automobiles. But one of its drawbacks has been that, unlike aluminum, steel and plastics, the product is generally not recyclable. Jerry Qi, a professor in the Woodruff School and who leads a team of researchers affiliated with Georgia Tech's Renewable Bioproducts Institute, said traditional carbon fiber has presented two challenges for recycling.

“The polymer matrix is usually crosslinked, just like the rubber, and it can't be simply melted; it's very hard to strip away the polymer to reclaim the embedded carbon fibers, which are more valuable to recycle,” Qi said.

The research team focused on carbon fiber that uses a special type of epoxy called vitrimer epoxy to give the composite component its shape.

“Vitrimers contain dynamic bonds that can alternate their structure without losing network integrity under certain conditions,” Yu said. “We let alcohol, which has small molecules, to participate in the network of alternating reactions, which effectively dissolved the vitrimer.”

The new recycling process has the potential to put a dent in the thousands of tons of carbon fiber waste that is generated each year in the United States and Europe, Qi said. The other advantage of this new recycling process is that it's simple and straightforward, said Yu, who is now an assistant professor at University of Colorado Denver.

“It's very easy to operate, so there's no limit to the size,” Yu said. “It can be easily scaled up.”

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CMMI-1404627. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Feiplastic 2017 to be held at Expo Center Norte Expo Pavilions

REED Exhibitions Alcantara Machado, a leading company in organizing events in Brazil and worldwide, is organizing the next FEIMAFE – International Machine Tools and Integrated Manufacturing Systems Trade Show, and FEIPLASTIC – International Plastics Trade Show, at Expo Center Norte, being held respectively March 7 to 10 and April 4 to 7, 2017.

This decision is based on the company's strategy of using facilities that offer impeccable conditions for holding some of the most important events for various sectors in Brazilian industry. Reed is therefore able to focus its efforts on improving the business environment and on a return on investments for its clients and partners, such as matchmaking tools using digital platforms and products like Premium Club Plus, which leverage meetings between exhibitors and qualified buyers.

The organizers also chose to hold each event during a shorter period of four consecutive days, aimed at optimizing time and activities for participants. In addition, Alexandre Telles, events director at Reed Exhibitions Alcantara Machado, says that changing the time span of the shows also optimizes companies' investments. "One day less represents less cost for exhibitors, considering all of the costs inherent to making the infrastructure needed for the stands operational, as well as eliminating the need to install air conditioning at individual stands."

With its five pavilions, Expo Center Norte is one of the most modern spaces for events and shows in the city of São Paulo, covering a total area of 98,000 square meters and with 22 meeting rooms located on the top floors, in addition to being climate controlled, allowing for savings of up to 15% on electricity. Expo Center Norte also has easy access to parking and is conveniently located next to malls and the metro. "This is an expo center with constant maintenance being performed, hosting major events year-round, in total synergy with our industrial calendar," says Paulo Octavio.

Association of Rotational Molders celebrating milestone

THE Association of Rotational Molders will celebrate its 40th anniversary at its annual meeting in New Orleans USA Sept. 24-27.

The event features general sessions with experts from the industry, tabletop exhibits, special forums and workshops, and an awards presentation. ARM leaders also hold committee meetings.

Adam Webb, ARM's executive director, said the association expects more than 300 attendees. “It could be quite a bit more than that,” he said. Last year the meeting drew about 250 people.

Webb said the event will have 57 tabletop exhibits, 30 percent more than last year's annual meeting. The meeting also includes seminars on practical rotomolding and value-added selling.

History will play a big role. ARM is putting together a booklet detailing the association's history, and featuring articles written by past ARM presidents and members of its Hall of Fame, detailing each decade.

Webb said attendees also will see an exhibit of parts from each decade.

A panel of ARM leaders will discuss what they learned from the association's 40 years: Daven Claerbout of Dutchland Plastics Corp., Patrick Long of Formed Plastics, Sandy Scaccia of Norstar Aluminum Molds Inc. and Bill Spenceley of Flexahopper Plastics Ltd.

The keynote speaker on Sept. 25, Dennis Snow, had a 20-year career at Walt Disney World, beginning in 1979 as a front-line attractions operator. He advanced through Disney, managing various operating areas throughout the theme park. Snow launched a division of the Disney Institute responsible for consulting with some of the world's largest companies.

Other speakers — rotomolding consultant Paul Nugent and Mark Kearns, rotational molding manager at Queen's University in Belfast — will look at rotomolding in the next 40 years.

Other speakers will examine reasons for failure in rotomolded parts, new pulverizing technology, lightweighting, alternatives to polyethylene, leak testing and hot-plate welding for automotive parts, decorating, inserts and other technical topics.

LANXESS increases earnings forecast for 2016

SPECIALTY chemicals company LANXESS raises its earnings forecast for 2016. The company now expects EBITDA pre exceptionals within a range of EUR 930 million and EUR 970 million mainly due to good business prospects in the “new” LANXESS segments for the second half of the year. Previously, LANXESS had assumed earnings of between EUR 900 million and EUR 950 million.

In a strong second quarter of 2016, EBITDA pre exceptionals rose by 8.5 percent to EUR 293 million, compared with EUR 270 million a year earlier. The EBITDA margin pre exceptionals improved year-on-year from 12.8 percent to 15.1 percent. The good overall performance was due particularly to the strong development of the “new” LANXESS segments Advanced Intermediates, Performance Chemicals and High Performance Materials.

“The strong operating result derived especially from increased volumes, leaner cost structures and an improved product mix achieved by the “new” LANXESS segments. This shows that our realignment has enabled us to create a powerful and efficient organization and that we are operating in the right markets with the right products,” said LANXESS Chairman of the Board of Management Matthias Zachert. “We are very optimistic for the second half of the year and expect “new” LANXESS to improve earnings against the prior year. Although the rubber business remains difficult, we are again raising our forecast for the full year.”

LANXESS expects to close the acquisition of the Clean and Disinfect business of U.S.-based chemical company Chemours by the end of the third quarter at the latest. The acquisition will be accretive to the company's earnings per share in the first fiscal year. The acquired business is expected to deliver an annual EBITDA contribution of around EUR 20 million, which will be gradually increased by synergy effects to about EUR 30 million by 2020.

In the second quarter of 2016, net income stood at a good level of EUR 75 million. Also in this quarter, LANXESS for the first time deducted a share of the profits to Saudi Aramco for its 50- percent interest in ARLANXEO, the joint venture for synthetic rubber. The income of EUR 87 million in the same period last year also included the proceeds from the sale of non-current assets. Adjusted for exceptionals, net income amounted to EUR 76 million compared with EUR 67 million in the prior-year quarter. Earnings per share pre exceptionals were EUR 0.83, after EUR 0.73 a year earlier.

Group sales declined by 7.7 percent in the second quarter of 2016 to EUR 1.94 billion, compared with EUR 2.1 billion in the prior-year quarter. Lower procurement prices for raw materials were passed on to customers. Higher volumes could not compensate for price reductions and the slightly unfavorable currency effect of the U.S. dollar.

Segments: “New” LANXESS is developing strongly

Sales in the Advanced Intermediates segment decreased by 5.3 percent, from EUR 468 million to EUR 443 million. EBITDA pre exceptionals came to EUR 88 million, 10 percent higher than the prior-year level of EUR 80 million. Higher volumes and improved capacity utilization in particular had a positive impact on earnings. The EBITDA margin pre exceptionals of 19.9 percent was above the high level of 17.1 percent reported in the prior - year quarter.

The Performance Chemicals segment posted a slight year-on-year decline in sales of 1.8 percent, from EUR 553 million to EUR 543 million. However, EBITDA pre exceptionals increased by 3.6 percent to EUR 114 million, compared with EUR 110 million a year earlier. Higher volumes, an improved product mix and favorable exchange rates had a positive impact on earnings. The EBITDA margin pre exceptionals increased from 19.9 percent to a strong 21.0 percent, so far the highest figure in the company's history.

Sales in the High Performance Materials segment declined by 5.8 percent to EUR 275 million due to raw material prices, down from EUR 292 million in the prior-year quarter. EBITDA pre exceptionals increased by a substantial EUR 12 million, or 36.4 percent, to EUR 45 million. The EBITDA margin pre exceptionals of 16.4 percent was significantly above the figure of 11.3 percent posted in the prior-year quarter. The segment's focus on high-performance plastics is therefore having an increasingly tangible impact on profitability.

Sales in the ARLANXEO segment fell by 14.1 percent to EUR 670 million, compared with EUR 780 million a year earlier. EBITDA pre exceptionals came to EUR 95 million after EUR 116 million in the prior-year quarter. The ongoing pressure on prices for synthetic rubbers had a diminishing effect, as did the production outage at a major supplier in Asia. By contrast, the EBITDA margin pre exceptionals in the second quarter stood at the relatively high level of 14.2 percent, compared with 14.9 percent in the year-earlier period.

Archroma Pakistan wins ‘Employer of the Year' and ‘CEO of the Year' Awards

ARCHROMA, a leader in color and specialty chemicals, announced that its Pakistan affiliate has been named 'Employer of the Year' in the multinationals segment in a nationwide contest organized by the Employers Federation of Pakistan (EFP).

EFP granted the award in recognition of Archroma's best practices in human resource management, industrial relations in maintaining excellent relations with workers' unions, providing employees with their legal rights as per applicable laws and regulations, observing labor standards, and encouraging workers' participation in management. Archroma always strives to maintain the highest standards in occupational health and safety, to ensure the work environments are safe and congenial at all it sites. The award helps to underscore the company's focused commitment on corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Mujtaba Rahim, CEO, Archroma Pakistan Limited, receiving the EFP 'Employer of the Year' Award from His Excellency Toshikazu Isomaru, Consul General of Japan.

The efforts of Archroma Pakistan Limited in this area also earned its CEO, Mujtaba Rahim, the 'Best CEO of the Year 2015' award.

Speaking at the award ceremony held on August 2, 2016, and attended by corporate heads, government officials and ILO representatives, Rahim commented: “Archroma's success is driven by our employees first and foremost. We strongly encourage them to continuously challenge the status quo in the deep belief that we can make our industry sustainable. Our best practices in human resource management are built with this attitude in mind, and have resulted in high motivation amongst our diverse teams, working as a strong unifying force that lead to strengthen Archroma's market position in Pakistan.”

Clariant presents foaming agents & flame retardants for automotive industry

CLARIANT has presented solutions dedicated to achieving sustainable development in automotive industry. In the presentations delivered in front of leading local and regional technical and mass media, Clariant's technical experts highlighted Clariant's edge in the three areas of energy savings, emissions reduction and safety improvements, the current priorities for the automotive and transport industry in China to achieve improved sustainability.

Solutions for Light & Safe Automotive

FR for Automotive Industry

Development of transportation goes along with economic growth — with the surging economy's high growth rate over the past decade in China, the country has already become the largest new vehicle market in the world since 2010. It is predicted that by 2025 China will replace the U.S. as the largest automobile market globally. Increased traffic volume and the number of road vehicles are inevitably putting pressure and impact on resources, people, climate and the environment. Petroleum consumption and CO2 emission are some of the biggest challenges faced by the automotive and transport industry in China today.

As a specialty chemical company, Clariant leverages its strong R&D capability and industry expertise to provide products and solutions dedicated to achieving sustainability in the automotive and transport industry.

Hydrocerol - Foaming Agent for Vehicle Weight Reduction

  • It creates a finer, more durable foam-cell structure that allows manufacturers to achieve surface quality and mass reduction between 5 and 20%.
  • Hydrocerol results in significant improvement on product appearance both internally and externally
  • Hydrocerol also simplifies process control, thus saving through both reduced energy and a shortened cycle time.

Clariant also aids in energy saving during the manufacturing process. Clariant's Masterbatches solutions for fibers used in vehicles leverage spin dyeing by adding the colorants directly as a Masterbatch during the melt spinning process. Besides outstanding aberration resistance, light-fastness and high color consistency, it reduces energy consumption tremendously. For instance, when dyeing 1kg of fibers, a reduction of almost 98% of energy and 99.9% of water is achieved with the same amount of additives used in traditional bath dyeing processes. The bluesign system, the world's most stringent environmental standard for textile products, endorses the benefits of spin dyeing as a sustainable way to color fibers.

Exolit OP - Automotive Fire Safety

  • Exolit OP range offers highly effective fire protection in vehicles, trains and other forms of transportation
  • Exolit OP lends engineering plastics the fire safety characteristics of expensive high- performance polymers
  • In case of fire, considerably less smoke arises with Exolit OP than with many other flame retardants, with fewer adverse effects
  • Plastics containing Exolit OP can be recycled easily

“With our exciting line-up of products and solutions dedicated to improving the sustainability and safety aspects of the growing automotive and transport industry in China, Clariant is ready to work with our customers and partners as we continue to strive for a greener future in this growing sector in China,” said Jan Kreibaum, President of Clariant Greater China and South Korea.

Foaming Agents for Light Automobiles

Besides controlling the emissions from automotives themselves, Clariant's LE Technologies also contribute to emission reduction during their manufacturing. The low emission products GEKO LE and ECOSIL LE lower emissions of health hazards like xylenes, toluene and ethyl benzene during the green sand molding process employed in the manufacturing of vehicle components such as engine blocks, transmission housings, drive shafts, brake disks and wheel bearings. Clariant's LE Technology products are already widely used in the EU, and have high potential in North and South America, as well as Asia.

Global Thermoplastic Polyolefins market predicted to register CAGR of over 5%

THE Global Thermoplastic Polyolefins (TPO) Market size was evaluated at more than 970,000 tons for 2015 and is predicted to register a CAGR of more than 5% until decade end, as per Global Market Insights, Inc. Rising automotive sales and construction expenditure in India, China and Brazil are projected to enhance the demand. With modern technology used in producing vehicle parts, polymers are finding novel applications in automobile sector. Polymers offer holistic approach to vehicle component production by all aspects that include static & mechanical strength and resistance to temperature & oxidation. This makes it desirable over other items and can drive the industry growth. Commercial & personal vehicle production was evaluated at 222.41 billion and 685.31 billion units respectively for 2015. Increasing automotive sector is projected to remain a driving force for increase in global demand for the product. Further, strict rules favouring rising vehicle fuel efficacy has encouraged industry players to minimize vehicle mass. Growing expenditure on construction in countries like Brazil, China and India may fuel product demand. India & China construction expenditure was more than US$422 billion and US$1.71 trillion respectively for 2015 which is predicted to contribute to enhanced demand of the product.

Global Industry is segmented into key geographical regions like Latin America, North America, APAC, Europe and MEA. North America dominated the industry and was evaluated above $861 million for 2015. U.S. led the global thermoplastic polyolefins (TPO) market share during that year. Growing durable applications like automotive application, construction application, packaging application and industrial application is predicted to promote industry growth in the region.Europe is predicted to register CAGR of more than 5% in terms of revenue. It is led by countries like UK, Germany, Italy and France. Growing use of these items over traditional polymers and elastomers in medical & packaging applications are predicted to produce favorable effect in the region.APAC thermoplastic polyolefins (TPO) market is predicted to cross $1.31 billion mark by end of 2023 and register a CAGR of 6.71% during forecast timeframe. Growing construction expenditure in countries like Japan, China and India is predicted to fuel product demand in the region during forecast timeline. Also the increasing demand for these products can be attributed to the fact that they are widely utilized in roofing both commercial as well as residential infrastructures.

Global PMMA demand projected to reach US$5.56 bln by 2021, at a CAGR of 4.7%

GLOBAL Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) Market that was estimated at US$4.2 bln in 2015 is projected to reach USD$5.56 bln by 2021, at a CAGR of 4.7% between 2016 and 2021, as per Research and Markets. The market is largely driven by the increased demand from end-use industries. In addition, the rising demand for high quality thermoplastics increases the demand of PMMA, globally.

PMMA-based products form a major part of the electronics industry due to its optical properties, strength, structural stability, durability, and resistance to chemical and weathering among others, making them suitable for various applications. They are widely used in LED screens, LCD screens, appliances parts & accessories, and cover panels. Rising demands for electronic devices in Asia-Pacific are expected to boost the market for PMMA in the electronics segment.

The rising demand for high quality plastics is driving the market for PMMA in Asia-Pacific. The market in the region is mainly driven by the increased demand from China and India, where China is the largest market. The major end-use industries, namely, automotive and electronics are gaining momentum in the region, which is increasing the demand of PMMA. Furthermore, the rising demand from the construction industry is estimated to boost the market for PMMA in the region.

Bio-based Polyethylene Terephthalate market anticipated to reach 5,800 Kilo

BIO-BASED Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) market is anticipated to reach 5,800 kilo tons by 2020, as per Hexa Reports. Bio-based PET was predominantly used for the packaging of CSD (Carbonated Soft Drinks), accounting for more than 75% of market share in 2013. Volatile crude oil prices and growing sustainable packaging market have fuelled bio-based PET market growth in packaging, automotive and electronic applications. Growing GHG emission concerns has fuelled demand for eco-friendly substitute, which is expected to boost Bio-based Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) market growth in the near future.

Companies such as The Coca Cola Company, Heinz & Co., Ford Motors, Nike Co. and Proctor & Gamble have signed Plant PET Technology Collaborative (PTC), intended for development and use of 100% bio-based PET in their product offerings. These developments are expected to provide new market opportunities over the forecast period.

Growing beverage consumption in emerging markets of BRICS is expected to drive bio based PET market growth. CSD marketing companies such as Coca-Cola are committed on promoting the use of bio-based PET in packaging, which is expected to have a major impact on market growth in the near future. Further key findings from the study suggest:

  • Bio based PET is also used in technical applications such as electronics and automotive vehicles. Growing demand for light weight material in automobiles is expected to propel bio-based plastics demand, resulting in bio-based PET market growth over the forecast period.
  • Asia Pacific accounted for over 30% of global bio based PET demand in 2013. The Japanese government's target of 20% of bio- based plastics consumption by 2020 coupled with application growth of packaging and technical applications in China and India is expected to boost regional market growth over the next six years.
  • European Commission has included bio-based production as a key priority area intended for increasing industry share in EU's GDP from 15% to 20%, which in turn is expected to provide new opportunities for the market in the near future.
  • The market is expected to be highly competitive, on account of limited presence of manufacturers such as Coca-Cola Company, Toyota Tsusho and Teijin Limited. Raw material manufacturers including Gevo, Virent and Anellotech have invested in the development of fully bio-based PTA, intended for 100% bio-based PET production.

Thermoplastic Elastomers market in India is projected to grow to US$900 mln

GROWING preference for recyclable and environment friendly polymers coupled with escalating demand from automotive and consumer durables sectors to drive India thermoplastic elastomers market through 2025. According to TechSci Research report, " the Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) market in India is projected to US$900 mln by 2025. TPE is being widely adopted as an environment friendly substitute for Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) polymers. Over the last few years, increasing consumption across various applications such as automotive, consumer durables, industrial, medical, footwear, etc., has been instrumental boosting demand for thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) in India.

During 2011-2015, the production of passenger cars in India grew at a CAGR of 2.67%, while the production of two- wheelers in the country exhibited a CAGR of 5.34% during the same period. Regulatory intervention by environmental agencies aimed at carbon emission reduction through an increase in fuel efficiency has also made major automotive OEMs in India to increasingly opt for plastics as a substitute to metals and alloys in automotive components. Consequently, TPE demand has been growing from the country automobile sector over the last five years, and the trend is expected to gain market traction during the forecast period. India's consumer durables industry stood at US$9.7 bln in 2015 and is projected to reach US$20.6 bln by 2020. Apart from providing durability and high tensile strength to the finished goods, TPEs provide high chemical resistance, flame retardant properties and protection against ultra violet rays. As a result, thermoplastic elastomers are being increasingly used in consumer durables industry in India. Medical sector is another major demand generator for thermoplastic elastomers in India. Increasing investments in the country's healthcare sector is expected to have a positive impact on thermoplastic elastomers market through 2021.

"In India, thermoplastic elastomers consumers are highly price conscious. They prefer to purchase low to moderate quality of TPEs at a reasonable price as compared to high quality TPEs available at premium price. TPE consumers in India have a tendency to neglect the quality and advantages associated with high quality TPEs, and often switch to economical alternatives, consequently impacting the growth of India thermoplastic elastomers market. However, on account of anticipated growth in TPE adoption across diverse end user applications, the market is expected to witness continuing expansion over the next ten years.", said Mr. Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research, a research based global management consulting firm.

Global smart polymers market to register CAGR of over 19% from 2016 to 2020

THE global smart polymers market to grow at a CAGR of 19.98% during the period 2016-2020, as per Research and Markets . Growing demand for plastics from healthcare, automotive, food and beverage, oil and gas, construction, and household products has stimulated the need for plastic recycling. The scarcity of petrochemicals, rising costs of raw materials and growing environmental concerns are also fostering the need for recycling.

Evolution of drug delivery systems will be a key trend for market growth as smart polymers are showcasing controlled delivery systems for medications having a short half-life, narrow therapeutic window, liable to gastric and hepatic degradation, and medications that are dynamic at low plasma concentrations. These delivery systems experience numerous difficulties connected with their advancements that are identified with medication stability, drug discharge kinetics, and the conditions under which the system is delivered to the body. Smart polymers sensitive to the proximity of some biomarkers could be valuable in focusing on particular disease conditions. For instance, smart polymers sensitive to folate receptor can be used to convey anti-cancer agents to tumor cells. One of the key drivers for market growth will be application of shape memory polymer in automotive industry. In the automotive industry, shape memory polymers are used in vehicle subsystems. These polymers self-heal in the case of damage, polymers can also be designed to change appearance or color. In addition, the polymers can be used in sensors in safety systems. Shape memory polymers showcase new platform for variable elements in vehicles. The novel materials include new innovative components that can enhance vehicle performance at lower costs. The Americas is the major revenue contributing region in the smart polymers market and is likely to occupy more than 45% of the overall market revenue by 2020. Much of the region's growth can be attributed to the growing focus on temperature and pH-sensitive polymers. With the governments trying to improve public healthcare systems, the demand for such smart polymers will increase significantly in the region's medical industry. The smart polymers market in the region is anticipated to grow at a high CAGR of more than 22% during the predicted period. Smart polymers have promising applications in the biomedical field as conveyance systems of therapeutic agents, actuators systems, bio-separation devices, cell culture support systems, sensors, or tissue engineering frameworks. Recently, these polymers have come up with new application areas including medicinal diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, implants, and treatments sectors. They have properties like adaptability and compatibility that make them valuable in medical treatments involving the immune system. Manufacturers are formulating new polymeric materials that assist in biosensor designing, drug delivery systems, tissue engineering systems, wound treatment, and other metabolically controllable systems. Having enormous potential across different applications, the smart polymers market will witness rapid growth in the coming years.

The following companies are the key players in the global smart polymers market: AkzoNobel, Autonomic Materials, Dow Chemical, and Huntsman International.

Issues with use of smart polymers will be a challenge for the market. Smart polymers face challenges with respect to high burst discharge and unpredictable conduct in biphasic discharge profile. For instance, neuronal burst discharges are well-defined as three or more action potentials (or spikes) parted by inter- spike phases of less than or equal to 30 microseconds, or two spikes parted by an intermission of less than or equal to 15 microseconds. The input of burst discharge to synchronous peak interaction is compared between temporal lobes. These polymers also face problems regarding general medication, discharge kinetics, conformational integrity during handling, and safeguarding biological actions during discharge. A few patents addressing these issues with smart polymers are being looked into.

Global Additive Masterbatch Market to register CAGR of 6% between 2016 and 2021

THE market size of additive masterbatch is projected to reach US$3.4 bln by 2021, registering a CAGR of 6% between 2016 and 2021, as per Research and Markets. The rising demand for durable and advanced products is driving the market for additive masterbatch. Additive Masterbatch types include Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Flame Retardants, and others. The rise in use of plastics in heavy and light packing drives the demand.

The high demand for antimicrobial additive masterbatch is backed by growing use of plastics in day-to-day activities. Additive masterbatch is used in several end-use industries such as consumer goods, construction & building, automotive, and agriculture. The flame retardant additive masterbatch is important for fire prevention in the abovementioned industries to delay ignition time. Flame retardant additives are mixed while processing plastics to obtain essential flame retardant property.

Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing additive masterbatch market, in terms of value. The increased consumption of plastics in the region has led to the expansion of plastic manufacturing plants. The per capita consumption of plastics is estimated to rise significantly during the forecast period. The rising demand for plastics in food, pharmaceutical, and consumer goods packaging applications is driving the market for additive masterbatch. . China is the largest market because of rising demand from the end-use industries such as automotive, packaging, and others.

Growth of global plastic additives market driven by rising demand from packaging

THE global plastic additives market is projected to reach US$50.86 bln by 2021, registering a CAGR of 4.9% between 2016 and 2021, as per MarketsandMarkets. The growth of the plastic additives market is triggered by the rising demand from the packaging industry. Plastic additives are widely used for industrial and household purposes. Change in lifestyle and globalization have triggered the growth of the packaging industry which drives the plastic additives market.

The plastic additives market is segmented on the basis of type as plasticizers, stabilizers, flame retardants, impact modifiers, and others. Plasticizers account for a major share of the plastic additives market as it is extensively used to process polymers and are less expensive than other additives. They are usually combined with PVC or other polymers to impart unique physical properties for use in various applications such as cable jacketing, floor & wall coverings, and coating fabrics.

Plastic additives are widely used in commodity plastic for various end-use products. Some of the commodity plastics are polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polymethyl methacrylate, and others. These are used to impart specific resin properties to processed polymers. Polyethylene products are mostly used in various end-use applications such as packaging bags, general plastic films, medical packaging, mulch films, green house & tunnel films, and pipes.

The packaging sector is the dominating application segment of this market.Packaging is widely used for industrial and household purposes. Change in lifestyle and globalization have triggered the demand plastic additives from the packaging industry. Increasing use of plastics in consumer goods is also expected to drive the growth of the plastic additives market. The plastic additives market is broadly segmented into five regions, namely, Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and South America. Asia-Pacific is the largest market of plastic additives, in terms of volume. The growing packaging industry coupled with the increasing demand from the retail industry drives the market of plastic additives in the region. Polymer industries are witnessing high growth in developing countries such as India and Brazil Currently, the global plastic additives market is dominated by various market players, such as Songwon Industrial Co. Ltd. (South Korea), Albemarle Corporation (U.S.), Clariant AG (Switzerland), BASF SE (Germany), and The Dow Chemical Company (U.S.), among others. The leading players mainly concentrate on new product development to enhance their market reach and make innovative products available to a large number of customers.

Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene in Films and Sheets Market to register growth

THE global biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) in films and sheets market was valued at US$10714 mln in 2014, and is projected to reach US$14117.8 mln by 2019, at a CAGR of 5.8% from 2014 to 2019, as per Micro Market Monitor.

One of the most significant factors influencing the growth of the BOPP in films and sheets market include the widespread applicability of BOPP materials in the packaging and non- packaging industries. BOPP films are also utilized in agricultural practices; majorly in five broader areas, namely greenhouse, mulching, tunnels, reservoir and irrigation, and silage. The building and construction industry serves to be second most important application area for non-packaging plastic films & sheets.

Key companies operating in the global BOPP in films and sheets market include Sealed Air Corporation (U.S.), Amcor Limited (Australia), Bemis Company Inc. (U.S.), Jindal Poly Films Ltd. (India), Toyobo Co. Ltd. (Japan), AEP Industries Inc. (U.S.), Berry Plastics Group (U.S.), Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Saudi Arabia), and Toray Industries (Japan). These companies are consistently focusing on expanding their production capacity to achieve a competitive edge over other market players.

Global thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) market estimated to be over USS$20 bln

THERMOPLASTIC elastomers (TPE) market is estimated to be over US$20 bln by 2023, as per Global Market Insights Inc. from level of 4.19 mln tons in 2015 as per a report by Global Market Insights, Inc. Increasing application scope in medical, automotive, and consumer goods industry owing to favorable regulatory compliance are potential stimulating factors to drive industry growth. Superior physical and chemical properties compared to thermosets in structural applications should positively influence TPE consumption in industrial applications. TPE processing allows compounds to be reheated, reshaped or frozen repeatedly, eliminating waste and promoting recyclability. These diverse characteristics are promoting TPE to be utilized in numerous applications across several field

SBC Market size dominated the demand and was valued at 6.22 billion in 2015. Medical equipment, packaging and consumer goods were the major applications. Recyclability and enhanced product benefits are few major driving features. TPV market is set to attain highest gains, growing at 5.8% CAGR up to 2023. Growing demand from industries including automotive, consumer goods, and medical owing to rising sustainable products demand and increased consumer per capita income.

Automotive industry expansion accompanied by rising trend to reduce vehicle weight to attain high fuel efficiency are expected factors to positively influence TPE market size. Government efforts to control GHG and carbon emission is persuading government to reduce dependency on PVC and imposing stringent regulations which may fuel TPE market size growth. Packaging and covering electrical circuits in construction and infrastructure industries are other key applications. Growing flexible electronic components demand and global consumer electronics industry expansion should enhance industry growth. Major raw materials including ionomers and styrenic copolymers are largely dependent on petrochemicals, volatility in petrochemical prices may affect thermoplastic elastomer market price trend. Key insights from the report include:

  • Global TPE market size is estimated to reach 6 mln tons by 2023, with estimated gains at 4.6% CAGR. Growing environmental consciousness accompanied by rise in middle class disposable income has led to end-use industry expansion, hence fuelling TPE demand.
  • APAC, led by Japan and China thermoplastic elastomers market size, was dominated the regional industry and generated US$5 bln in 2015, favorable government policies and monetary framework encouraging private investments are expected factors influencing regional demand.
  • China TPU market size may observe 6.3% CAGR and register over US$515 mln by 2023. Automotive OEM's preference to shift manufacturing base to China and India owing low capital investment, skilled labor, and economical raw material availability are potential reasons driving regional industry growth.
  • North America thermoplastic elastomers market size accounted for over 27% of the overall demand and is mainly driven by EPA regulations to promote eco friendly products and increasing consumption in vehicle manufacturing.
  • MEA, led by Saudi Arabia and UAE, may grow significantly, growing at 4.9% CAGR up to 2023. Increase in construction spending, rising electronic goods demand accompanied by raw material availability are potential factors to foster regional demand.
  • TPE market share is fairly consolidated, major industry players catered to around40% of the global demand in 2015. Dow, LyondellBasell, BASF, and Kraton Polymers are among notable industry participants.

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