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Thursday, 30 August 2018

Givaudan forms fragrances partnership with Synthite




Givaudan has formed a strategic partnership with Synthite for the development of exclusive innovative natural ingredients for its fragrance business. The two companies will jointly work on research and development of exceptional qualities of floral and spicy natural ingredients such as jasmine, tuberose, ginger, and cardamom.
These unique natural ingredients will enrich Givaudan’s palette of ingredients for perfumers to create the winning fragrances of tomorrow. This new partnership is fully in line with Givaudan’s 2020 strategic goals to expand its offering to consumers’ brands through innovative naturals.
Established in 1972 in India, Synthite is a global player in the supply of exceptional quality botanical extract ingredients for fragrances but also flavours.

Dow, Time Tech to develop PacXpert technology in India




Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP) partnered with Time Technoplast (Time Tech), a multinational conglomerate with focus on polymer product manufacturing, to develop PacXpert packaging technology in India.
This collaboration enables Time Tech to manufacture PacXpert and quickly bring to market various packaging applications to service Indian sub-continent and GCC countries (including Egypt)-based consumers.
PacXpert packaging technology is an innovative packaging format that enables the transition from larger traditional rigid containers to flexible packaging options. The distinctive flexible stand-up pouch is durable, lightweight, and cost-effective. While flexible, the ‘cube-shaped’ package is shelf stable and can stand equally well upright or on its side. It also provides multiple environmental benefits by minimizing content waste, reducing raw materials and offering a higher product-to-package ratio.
Through this award-winning technology, empty packages can be shipped flat, increasing shipping and warehouse efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of entire value chain. Emptied containers also take up less receptacle space when discarded. Since the amount of material used is lesser, it has higher recyclability value and removes waste removal costs at end of life. 
PacXpert has reached 75 packages on the shelf globally, which reaffirms the commitment from Dow, Time Tech and several other industry leaders around the world who are committed to making this packaging technology a success in a variety of different applications.

AkzoNobel supplies coatings for Westminster Abbey addition




History has been made at Westminster Abbey in London with the first major addition to the famous church since 1745 - and AkzoNobel NV has supplied products for the prestigious project.
The new £23 million Weston Tower features 500 leaded windows and every window frame is protected with the company’s Interpon powder coatings. The tower provides staircase and lift access to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, located in an area which has never been open to the public before.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries were officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen earlier this summer. The exhibition space displays more than 300 precious regal and religious artifacts, many of which are on show for the first time.
The galleries are located in the medieval Triforium – an area 16 meters (52 feet) above the abbey’s floor, which has lain unused for centuries. Access is via the new tower, which was designed by Ptolemy Dean Architects. Its window frames are coated with the company’s Interpon D2525 Anodic Bronze finish and BPP600 barrier primer, which provide a perfect color match and long-lasting protection.

Isola sells Arizona facility; plans for new PCB materials plant




Isola Group has reached an agreement to sell its Chandler, Arizona production facility to Rogers Corporation. 
Isola is a market leader in copper-clad laminates and dielectric prepreg materials used to fabricate advanced multilayer printed circuit boards (PCBs).
The sale does not include products, technology or other assets related to Isola’s continuing business operations. Isola also announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art facility in the Chandler area that will be optimized for the quick-turn PCB market that drives much of the product innovation in North America.
The timing for the opening of the new production facility is targeted for early 2020.  Isola will transition out of its existing facility over the course of 2019 and will work closely with its customers and distributors to manage the transition period to the new facility.

Researchers put AI to work making chemistry predictions



As chemistry has gotten more advanced and the chemical reactions more complex, it's no longer always practical for researchers to sit down at a lab bench and start mixing chemicals to see what they can come up with.
Tom Miller, a professor of chemistry at Caltech; Matt Welborn, a postdoctoral scholar at the Resnick Sustainability Institute; and Lixue Cheng, a chemistry and chemical engineering graduate student, have developed a new tool that uses machine learning to predict chemical reactions long before reagents hit the test tube.

Theirs isn't the first computational tool developed to make chemistry predictions, but it does improve on what is already in use, and that matters because these sorts of predictions are having a big impact in the field.
"They allow us to connect underlying microscopic properties to the things we care about in the macroscopic world," Miller said. "These predictions allow us to know ahead of time if one catalyst will perform better than another one and to identify new drug candidates."
They also require a lot of computational heavy lifting. Miller points out that a substantial fraction of all supercomputer time on Earth is dedicated to chemistry predictions, so increases in efficiency can save researchers a lot of time and expense.
The work of the Caltech researchers essentially provides a change of focus for prediction software. Previous tools were based around three computational modeling methods known as density functional theory (DFT), coupled cluster theory (CC), or Moller–Plesset perturbation theory (MP2). Those theories represent three different approaches to approximating a solution to the Schrodinger equation, which describes complex systems in which quantum mechanics plays a big role.
Each of those theories has its own advantages and disadvantages. DFT is something of a quick-and-dirty approach that gives researchers answers more quickly but with less accuracy. CC and MP2 are much more accurate but take longer to calculate and use a lot more computing power.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Cargill plans to invest $150 mn in new Brazilian pectin facility




Cargill has the intention to invest $150 million to construct an HM pectin production facility in South America. HM pectin is a versatile, citrus fruit-based texturizer used for jams, beverages/juices, acid dairy drinks and confectionery.
The intended project is part of a comprehensive plan to strengthen Cargill's full pectin footprint, including improvements to its existing three plants in Europe (Germany, France and Italy) and adding a new plant in Brazil to take advantage of local resources.
“The pectin market has seen a strong growth for several years, primarily driven by the acid dairy drink market, as well as the growing global consumer demand for label-friendly ingredients. HM pectin plays a significant role in delivering on both trends—as it is a plant-based texturizer designed for acid dairy drinks as well as for jams, beverages and confectionery products. The intention to invest in a plant in Brazil, which has an abundant citrus fruit supply, allows Cargill to deliver the pectin our customers need and consumers demand,” said Bruce McGoogan, strategy and innovation leader for Cargill starches, sweeteners and texturizers business.

Wood bags maintenance data build contract by Total Denmark E&P




Wood Group has secured a new four-year contract with Total Denmark E&P to provide the development and delivery of a significant operations readiness assurance scope for the Tyra redevelopment project.
Wood will deploy its integrated maintenance database (IMD) to build Total’s SAP maintenance management system. Delivered by Wood specialists based in Esbjerg, Aberdeen and Manila, the IMD enables the creation and manipulation of hierarchical equipment lists, job plans and tasks, task lists, object lists, bills of material, routes and planned maintenance.
We have a long-standing relationship with Total across their assets globally and are pleased to continue this on our first project together in Denmark.

BASF, Grolman strengthens collaboration in marketing curing agents




BASF SE strengthens its collaboration with Gustav Grolman GmbH & Co KG in the marketing of amine-based curing agents for the professional processing of epoxy resins.
Grolman expands the marketing of the BASF specialty chemicals under the Baxxodur brand to Italy, Spain and Portugal, (Europe) specifically for use in epoxy resin-based applications. Examples are thermosetting laminates, highly resistant floor coatings, corrosion protection varnish and composite materials. The products are used in the construction industry as well as in the automotive, marine, aerospace and industrial applications manufacturing.
With the extended regional partnership with BASF, Grolman, one of Europe's largest distributors of specialty chemicals, further strengthens its strong position. Grolman has a diversified know-how in application technology. The high-quality curing agent components made by BASF supplement Grolman’s product portfolio of resins, accelerators, additives, flame retardants, pigments and special fillers for the thermosetting industry.

Researchers develop non-flammable lithium-ion batteries




Lithium-ion batteries commonly used in consumer electronics are notorious for bursting into flame when damaged or improperly packaged. These incidents occasionally have grave consequences, including burns, house fires and at least one plane crash. Inspired by the weird behavior of some liquids that solidify on impact, researchers have developed a practical and inexpensive way to help prevent these fires.
The researchers presented their results at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
“In a lithium-ion battery, a thin piece of plastic separates the two electrodes,” Gabriel Veith, Ph.D., said. “If the battery is damaged and the plastic layer fails, the electrodes can come into contact and cause the battery’s liquid electrolyte to catch fire.”
To make these batteries safer, some researchers instead use a non-flammable, solid electrolyte. But these solid-state batteries require significant retooling of the current production process, Veith said. As an alternative, his team mixes an additive into the conventional electrolyte to create an impact-resistant electrolyte. It solidifies when hit, preventing the electrodes from touching if the battery is damaged during a fall or crash. If the electrodes don’t touch each other, the battery doesn’t catch fire. Even better, incorporating the additive would require only minor adjustments to the conventional battery manufacturing process.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Huntsman opens new formulations manufacturing facility in Vietnam




Huntsman Corporation (HUN) has opened a multi-purpose facility at the Amata Vietnam Industrial Park, near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The site is a greenfield investment, will house Huntsman's Polyurethanes and Advanced Materials businesses, and comprises manufacturing; R&D capabilities; a technical service center; warehouse and distribution space and a commercial office.
In addition to this facility, Huntsman has a distribution warehouse located in the inland container depot at Long Binh - Dong Nai Province, and a site in Hanoi which offers technical service and comprises warehouse and distribution space and a commercial office.
"Vietnam is one of the largest and fastest growing countries in Asia Pacific. For Polyurethanes, we've seen double digit growth rates for a sustained period and fully expect this to continue.  At the new site, we'll manufacture formulated systems for the footwear and automotive markets; rigid insulation foam used in construction and cold chain applications; and simulated wood for the furniture market. These products will be consumed primarily in Vietnam, with the balance being exported to Cambodia. The facility will enable Huntsman to collaborate more effectively with Vietnamese customers and will also strengthen our strategy of globalizing downstream bolt-on acquisitions," added Tony Hankins, Huntsman's CEO Asia Pacific and President of the Polyurethanes business.

Contanda to begin construction on new Houston storage terminal




Contanda Terminals LLC, a provider of bulk liquid storage and logistics services in North America, plans to construct a new, large-capacity storage terminal on its property along the Houston Ship Channel. Supporting its strategic expansion into the petrochemical and hydrocarbon storage markets.
The new, state-of-the-art terminal will be called the Contanda Houston Jacintoport Terminal and will provide up to 3.0 million barrels of additional petrochemical and hydrocarbon storage capacity.  The terminal complex will be situated at the company’s Jacintoport terminal site located at the Contanda Steel location, which was acquired in the fourth quarter 2016.
This expansion will add a third Houston-based bulk liquid storage facility to the Contanda portfolio. The automated terminal will provide up to 3.0 million barrels of additional petrochemical and hydrocarbon storage capacity, a deep-water ship dock, two barge docks along with truck and rail infrastructure. The construction is scheduled to begin October 2018 and is expected to be operational during fourth quarter 2019. During construction, the project will create more than 200 jobs.  Upon completion, there will be over 20 permanent positions at the Houston facility.
Contanda has awarded the contract to upgrade the existing ship dock to Russell Marine LLC. The dock expansion will take approximately 12 months to complete and will ultimately support larger vessels with drafts up to 40 feet.

Shell reduces stake in Mahanagar Gas to 10 percent




Royal Dutch Shell plc, through its wholly-owned subsidiary BG Asia Pacific Holdings Pte Ltd (BGAPH), has reduced its stake in the publicly-listed Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) from 24 percent to now 10 percent.
Shell believes that India offers a vast opportunity for growth for Shell’s businesses and we will continue to pursue opportunities which can enhance Shell footprint in the country, said Shell in a statement.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Teijin to acquire automotive composite supplier in Portugal




Teijin Limited has agreed to acquire Inapal Plasticos SA (Inapal), a leading automotive composite supplier in Portugal. The shares of Inapal will be purchased by Teijin Holdings Netherlands BV, the Teijin Group's holding company in the Netherlands.
The acquisition was completed at the beginning of August 2018.
Inapal, headquartered in Leca do Balio, Porto, Portugal, is a tier-one supplier of composite components to the automotive and heavy truck industries. The company’s capabilities include Class A body panels, structural and underbody components using a variety of materials and processes, including sheet moulding compound (SMC), carbon fibre SMC, pre-preg compression moulding (PCM), direct long fibre thermoplastic (D-LFT) and glass mat thermoplastic (GMT).
The company has two manufacturing locations in Portugal serving a variety of European OEM customers including Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Bentley.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

LyondellBasell completes acquisition of A Schulman




LyondellBasell (LYB), has completed the acquisition of A Schulman Inc.
The acquisition more than doubles LyondellBasell's existing compounding business and broadens the company's reach into growing, high-margin end markets such as automotive, construction materials, electronic goods and packaging.
"This acquisition builds upon our complementary strengths, creating a substantial value proposition for our customers and positioning the company for future growth in this space. Moving forward, our team is focused on a seamless integration that captures opportunity and creates exceptional value for our shareholders," said Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell.

Nemaska inks lithium hydroxide supply agreement with Northvolt




Nemaska Lithium Inc has signed an agreement to supply battery grade lithium hydroxide to Northvolt AB.
On April 27, Nemaska Lithium announced an agreement in principle with Northvolt. This agreement is now superseded by a definitive 5-year supply agreement. Under this agreement, Nemaska Lithium agrees to supply, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Nemaska Lithium Shawinigan Transformation Inc and Northvolt agrees to purchase, on a take-or-pay basis, up to 5,000 but not less than 3,500 metric tonnes per year of lithium hydroxide produced at the Nemaska’s commercial plant in Shawinigan.
For a 5-year supply period commencing upon the start of commercial production at both the Shawinigan Plant and Northvolt's projected Skelleftea factory in Sweden (the "N Factory").

Sika opens new concrete admixtures factory in Dubai




Sika AG has opened a new factory in Dubai, developing its operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
An existing production facility for concrete admixtures has been relocated to the new site and expanded. A state-of-the-art mortar facility and a reactor for producing polymers have been installed and will constitute the basis for the production of high-performance concrete admixtures. Furthermore, the new facility will play a strategic role as a sales and distribution centre for the region.
Sika has grouped together and greatly expanded its mortar and concrete admixtures production, warehouse capacity, and offices at the new location in Dubai Industrial City. Material streams, logistics, and the cost structure will thus be optimized, and the course set for further growth. The local polymer production facility will help to significantly cut costs and make it possible to supply customers located in all states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with customized concrete admixtures for demanding construction projects.

S-Oil to invest $5 bn in feed cracker, olefin downstream facilities




S-Oil Corporation is conducting a feasibility study into building a mixed feed cracker with the size of 1,500KTA and olefin downstream facilities. This is part of its phase II investment project to expand its petrochemical business portfolio.
The company is expected to invest more than KRW 5 trillion ($4.46 billion) into the project until 2023.
The steam cracker will produce ethylene and other basic petrochemicals from naphtha and off-gas burned as fuel in the refinery, thus giving the company an added advantage over feedstock sourcing and cost competitiveness. Olefin downstream facilities will produce an increased volume of high-value petrochemical products including PE and PP.
The new facilities will be built on a 400,000? land S-OIL purchased from Hyundai Heavy Industries near its Onsan Refinery to possibly create a mega-scale single location plant and secure higher economics and operational efficiency if realized.
S-OIL said the project will significantly benefit the economy, too, as it will create 2.7 million man-days during construction, 400 regular jobs, reinvigorate the construction sector and increase exports.

BASF launches next generation of carotenoid formulations




BASF Animal Nutrition launches its Lucantin NXT product line in the EU 28 market. The next generation of carotenoids is stabilized by propyl gallate (PG) and butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) or tocopherol. The introduction in other countries will gradually follow.
Extensive trials have shown that Lucantin NXT products deliver high homogeneity, outstanding stability and long shelf life while maintaining egg yolk and broiler skin coloring efficacy. These carotenoid formulations meet the latest Regulation (EC) No 2017/962, which requires to withdraw EQ as a feed additive.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Evonik, Wynca forms JV to produce fumed silica in China




Evonik Industries AG and the Chinese company Wynca have agreed to form a joint venture. The new company, in which Evonik will hold 60 percent, will produce fumed silica marketed under the name Aerosil.
The product is used in transparent silicones, coatings and paints, modern adhesives as well as non-combustible high-performance insulation materials. The joint venture, Evonik Wynca (Zhenjiang) Silicon Material Co Ltd plans to build a fumed silica production facility in the Zhenjiang New Material Industry Park (Jiangsu Province, China), investing an amount in the mid-double-digit million Euro range.
The facility, with a projected annual output of 8,000 metric tons is scheduled to become operational in 2021. The overall project still requires the approval of the relevant corporate bodies and the competent authorities.
The global market for fumed silica is growing at around 5 percent, showing stronger growth than the global economy. Key drivers for the fumed silica market in China include the silicone industry for adhesives and sealants in buildings and cars as well as gel batteries such as those used in electric bikes. The joint venture will supplement Evonik's global network of Aerosil production facilities, while Wynca plans to further expand its business with silicon-based products, using the benefits of a shared approach.

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