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Friday, 28 September 2018

Sika opens new automotive factory in Mexico

Sika AG is adding strength and capacity to its Mexican product supply chain in the Automotive sector with the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Queretaro, Mexico. The new factory, which includes an integrated logistics center, will manufacture and locally supply Sika’s full range of acoustic treatments and body structural products for the growing number of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) assembly and component makers located in the country. The Mexican subsidiary of Faist ChemTec, acquired by Sika at the start of 2018, will also be integrated into the new facility.
The Mexican automotive market has grown by 25% in the last four years, and an estimated four million vehicles will be produced in the country in 2018. This growth is being driven by the significant number of key players in the OEM market who are investing in increasing production capacity. Mexico is a top automotive manufacturing location and will soon become the sixth largest car manufacturer in the world – catching up with South Korea.

Dunlop, BASF unleash the performance within tennis rackets

Modern day tennis players tend to play with more spin and as a result, hit the ball out of the top of the racket rather than the centre. The disadvantage of this is players swing with more force to generate more power and spin. This puts extra load on the player’s arm and can result in injury.
The Dunlop research team observed this trend and employed a new innovation to resolve this aspect – the Sonic Core made with BASF’s Infinergy.
Designed for the tennis player looking for strong cushioning, high rebound, speed, and lightweight performance, the Sonic Core is built with intuitive design and technology principles unmatched in the industry.
Infinergy is the world’s first E-TPU that sets the standards in cushioning, rebound and performance. Located at the two and ten o’clock areas of the racket, Sonic Core made with Infinergy creates a high performing yet comfortable material. Dunlop’s material testing shows the main highlight is its 46 percent increase in rebound height vs. Dunlop’s original Sonic Core material resulting in 2 percent faster ball speed off the racket. In addition to superior rebound properties, the Infinergy material also has impressive damping properties and reduces vibrations up to 37 percent vs. a standard carbon fibre racket.

Archroma introduces new solutions for enhanced packaging

Archroma has introduced its new Cartastrength DST.03 for stronger packaging and tissue papers and improved stickies management during the production process.
Archroma is already well known in the paper industry for its portfolio covering the needs of packaging and paper makers, in particular with its solutions for colours, barriers & coatings, whiteness and strength.
With its focus on increasing performance and sustainability for its customers, both during the manufacturing process and in the end product, Archroma is committed to introducing innovations especially aimed at making fast-growing sectors - such as packaging and tissue paper - more sustainable.
Archroma has been active in the field of increasing wet and dry strength of packaging and tissue paper under the tradename Cartastrength, particularly targeting recycled fibre. Cartastrength agents increase the stability of corrugated fibreboard and allow manufacturers to achieve higher levels of dry strength with lower amounts of fibre.

BASF increases price for PCE based polymers

BASF said that it is increasing prices for their polycarboxylate ether (PCE) based polymers for concrete admixtures in Europe (Melflux brand). With immediate effect, the prices will be increased by 10-12 percent. 

Thursday, 27 September 2018

ExxonMobil starts sulfur fuels production at new Beaumont unit

ExxonMobil NV said that a new unit at its integrated Beaumont, Texas facility has started operations, increasing production of ultra-low sulphur fuels by about 45,000 barrels per day.
The new unit relies on a proprietary catalyst system developed by ExxonMobil to remove sulphur and meet US Environmental Protection Agency specifications while minimizing octane loss.
The addition of the new unit, ExxonMobil’s second major investment in Beaumont in less than two years, has supported more than 800 construction jobs. In 2016, the company increased the capacity of an existing crude unit by 20,000 barrels per day and added the flexibility to process light crudes. Both projects are components of ExxonMobil’s Growing the Gulf initiative.
The company is expanding its polyethylene manufacturing capacity by 650,000 tonnes per year by 2019 and is proceeding with front-end engineering, design and other preparatory work to further increase the refinery’s crude refining capacity. Construction of the new crude unit, which is subject to a final investment decision, is scheduled to begin in 2019, with startup anticipated by 2022.

Brenntag opens new food & nutrition application centre

Brenntag North America Inc, part of the Brenntag Group has opened a new food & nutrition application & development centre.
The Brenntag North America food & nutrition application & development centre in Allentown, PA has officially opened. Through this centre, further support will be provided to customers in the United States and Canada who face food and nutrition formulation challenges with technical solutions and inventive ideas.
The centre will be fully equipped to handle new product development and ingredient application assistance in all areas within the food and nutrition industry.
In the food & nutrition application & development centre, the Brenntag team will conduct ingredient qualification, food application testing, and prototype development focused on strategic products and applications. Food applications include baked goods, beverage, confectionery, frozen foods, dairy, and more.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Thermo Fisher designs new single quadrupole mass spectrometer

Thermo Fisher Scientific has designed the Thermo Scientific ISQ EM single quadrupole mass spectrometer for high performance and productivity standards in laboratories.
With a mass range of 10-2000 m/z, the system offers the power to detect and quantify small and large molecules, and supports analytical needs across an extensive range of applications­ – from drug development to manufacturing support and quality control. The system's high-performing heated electrospray ionization (HESI) and dual HESI/atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) probes facilitate the measurement of polar and non-polar analytes, enabling application flexibility.

Solvay to raise polyvinylidene fluoride capacity in Europe

Solvay SA will raise production capacity of Solef PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) high performance polymers in France, by more than 35 percent.
Addressing the strong global demand growth mainly for applications in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, reinforcing its technological leadership and customer support worldwide.
The new capacity, from investing in new assets, should be operational by end of 2019.
Solef PVDF optimizes energy storage efficiency and reduces battery weight in electric vehicles or consumer electronics. Other growing applications include offshore oil and gas pipes and liners and membranes for water purification.

Total to buy shares of Chevron Denmark

Total SA has agreed to buy all the shares of Chevron Denmark Inc from Chevron Corporation.
Chevron Denmark holds a 12 percent interest in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) and a 7.5 percent interest in the Tyra West pipeline.
This acquisition will increase Total’s operated share of DUC from 31.2 percent to 43.2 percent, the other partners of the consortium are Shell (36.8 percent) and Nordsofonden (20 percent, owned by the Danish State).
The consortium, which started production in 1972, currently operates 15 fields, all located in the Central Graben sector of the North Sea. It covers nearly 90 percent of the Danish oil and gas production. In 2017 the production averaged 182,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Fluor sells 50 pc stake in Seagreen offshore wind farm

Fluor Corporation (FLR) has successfully completed the development phase of the first phase of the Seagreen offshore wind farm. In addition it has sold its 50 percent stake in the wind farm to SSE Renewables, a division of Scottish energy company SSE.

ThyssenKrupp executes caustic soda project for Tata Chemicals

ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions is implementing a membrane cell caustic soda upgradation project for Tata Chemicals Limited (TCL) at the company’s chemical facilities in Mithapur, Gujarat. The upgraded section of the plant will have a capacity of 60 tons per day, with the plant’s overall capacity being 100 tons per day of caustic soda (100 wt percent).
ThyssenKrupp will provide basic and detail engineering services including project management and technical procurement assistance for upgrading the plant. The plant will deploy ThyssenKrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineer’s leading single element BM electrolyser technology which is at work across a majority of Indian caustic soda installations. At the heart of the plant will be the group’s latest, energy and emission friendly membrane cell elements. The project envisages upgrading the membrane cell plant by deployment of the latest Uhde BM ‘zero-gap’ bipolar electrolyser generation. It will be completed within 14 months.

RELiON launches new low temperature lithium batteryRELiON launches new low temperature lithium battery

RELiON Battery has introduced a new technology that solves the problem of charging in freezing weather, while also making lithium batteries safer and more practical for low-temperature use. The new RB100-LT (a 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 battery) is the first model in their new Low-Temperature Series line of products.
The first LiFePO4 battery of its kind, RELiON’s LT Series batteries can safely charge at temperatures down to -20°C (-4°F). The system features proprietary technology which draws power from the charger itself, requiring no additional components.
The new low-temperature battery looks and operates just look the rest of RELiON’s lithium batteries, with the same dimensions, configuration and connectivity of its standard counterparts.

IT In Chemicals KBR, ConocoPhillips to develop new low-cost LNG solutions

KBR Inc (KBR) said that it is pursuing a new phase of joint development with ConocoPhillips LNG Licensing LLC to provide low-cost and expedited mid-scale LNG solutions for the marketplace.
The companies will leverage their extensive expertise in LNG to jointly develop a standardized LNG train that will provide mid-scale LNG capacity for both greenfield and brownfield expansions seeking an off-the-shelf solution to reduce costs and shorten schedules for LNG facility installations.
KBR and ConocoPhillips have agreed to complete a front-end engineering and design (FEED) quality reference design for a mid-scale capacity LNG train (1.5 – 3.0 MTPA) suitable for a wide range of feed gas and ambient temperature conditions. The integrated design approach, utilizing ConocoPhillips' proven Optimized Cascade process technology and constructed with integrated modularized construction, is expected to be available for new LNG projects starting in 2019.

Clariant starts construction of cellulosic ethanol plant in Romania

Clariant has officially started construction of the first large-scale commercial sunliquid plant for the production of cellulosic ethanol made from agricultural residues. At the flagship facility, the sunliquid technology developed by the company is being used on an industrial scale for the first time.
At full capacity, the plant will process around 250 000 tons of wheat and other cereal straw sourced from local farmers to 50 000 tons of cellulosic ethanol annually. By-products from the process will be used for the generation of renewable energy with the goal of making the plant independent from fossil energy sources. The resulting cellulosic ethanol is therefore an advanced biofuel that is practically carbon-neutral.
The flagship plant testifies to the competitive viability and sustainability of the sunliquid technology on an industrial scale, and at the same time fulfils an important function as a reference facility for the worldwide marketing of sunliquid licenses.
The decision in favor of Craiova was due partly to the existence of a secure regional supply of feedstock and partly to the region’s existing logistic and industrial infrastructure. Construction of the plant will provide a whole range of benefits for the surrounding region of Craiova.

Wacker starts cystine production at Leon site

Wacker Biosolutions, the life sciences division of the Wacker Group, has begun producing fermentation-generated cystine at its new site in Leon, Spain.
Over the past 18 months, the division has extensively modernized part of the 800 m³ fermentation capacity acquired there at the end of 2016. In addition, it has built a production line for cystine. Capital spending for the site totals some €30 million. In the next few months, the plants are to be gradually qualified and ramped up to full capacity. The new site enables Wacker to meet its customers’ rising global demand. Cystine and cysteine produced from cystine are used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Wacker currently employs more than 40 people in Leon.
Cystine and cysteine, the amino acid produced from it, are widely used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food sectors not only, for example, to manufacture flavorings and make doughs in baked goods easier to process, but also as a free-radical scavenger in cosmetics products or as an expectorant in cough medicines.
Wacker is the first company in the world to produce cystine by fermentation in a patented biotech process. Due to the entirely plant-based and inorganic raw materials, Wacker cystine and cysteine are purely vegetarian. This makes them especially safe for use in food and pharmaceutical products. In 2008, Wacker was awarded the Federation of German Industries (BDI) Environmental Prize for its innovative production of cysteine.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Afton completes S$380 mn phase 2 expansion of Jurong Island plant

Afton Chemical Corporation has completed the Phase II expansion of its chemical additive manufacturing facility in Jurong Island, Singapore. Afton began its Singapore manufacturing operations in May 2016, when it announced the Phase I opening of its Jurong Island plant. Phase II’s investment of S$222 million is more than Phase I’s initial investment of S$158 million, bringing the total investment in Singapore to S$380 million.
Phase II’s expansion kickstarts production of advanced ashless dispersants and anti-wear components. All are critical components in several of Afton’s products and will help passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles meet performance standards of the future. The latest expansion also enhances the support network in Asia Pacific, which already has established R&D innovation centres in Suzhou, China and Tsukuba, Japan.

Total acquires G2mobility, strengthens electric vehicle charging sector

Total SA has finalized the acquisition of G2mobility, a French leading provider of electric vehicle charging solutions. With this deal, Total is accelerating the growth of its electric vehicle charging businesses, from designing smart charging stations to optimizing energy usage management and selling integrated services.
A leader in the sector since 2009, G2mobility has developed and markets a comprehensive charging solution, with connected charging stations operated by a web platform that can remotely control the charge points, offer services, particularly smart energy management systems. With almost 10,000 points managed by its services platform, G2mobility supports municipal governments and private businesses.
Following the signature of an agreement with G2mobility and its longtime shareholders, including Bpifrance and Nexans, Total now fully owns the company.
“Total is pursuing its expansion in new energies for mobility.

ExxonMobil to join global CEO-led climate initiative

ExxonMobil said it will join the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), a voluntary initiative representing 13 of the world’s largest oil and gas producers working collaboratively toward solutions to mitigate the risks of climate change.
The CEO-led organization focuses on developing practical solutions in areas including carbon capture and storage, methane emissions reductions and energy and transportation efficiency. As part of the initiative, ExxonMobil will expand its investment in research and development of long-term solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as partnerships and multi-stakeholder initiatives that will pursue lower-emission technologies.
ExxonMobil has invested billions of dollars in researching and developing lower-emission solutions, including carbon capture and storage technology, next-generation biofuels, cogeneration and more efficient manufacturing processes.
Earlier this year, ExxonMobil announced initiatives to lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with its operations by 2020, including reducing methane emissions 15 percent and flaring by 25 percent. Since 2000, ExxonMobil has spent more than $9 billion to develop and deploy higher-efficiency and lower-emission energy solutions across its operations.
OGCI was established following the 2014 World Economic Forum and formally launched at the United Nations Climate Summit the same year. Members include BP, Chevron, CNPC, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum, Pemex, Petrobras, Repsol, Royal Dutch Shell, Saudi Aramco and Total.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

ONCAP acquires metal working solutions provider

ONCAP has purchased a majority stake in Walter Surface Technologies (Walter), in partnership with the existing management team. The Walter Group will retain a minority interest in the company.
Walter is a leading provider of innovative solutions for the metal working industry. Its premium, consumable metal working solutions include abrasives, tooling, power tools, chemical solutions and welding process solutions. The company sells its portfolio of products to a diverse array of end markets, including metal fabrication, transportation, construction, energy, mining, forestry and lumber, food and pharmaceuticals. Walter was founded in 1952 by Walter Somers and, over the past 30 years, his son Pierre Somers led the company and expanded it internationally.
“Walter is committed to creating the best performing products and offering innovative, safe, user-friendly and environmentally conscious solutions to its customers. The company’s dedication to excellence and strong workforce are what attracted us to the business.  We’re thrilled to partner with the management team and the founding family to build upon the entrepreneurial spirit and vision Walter and Pierre Somers created,” said Gregory Baylin, a managing director with ONCAP.

AkzoNobel acquires Spanish decorative paints firm Xylazel

AkzoNobel NV (AKZA; AKZOY) has acquired Xylazel SA (Xylazel), a 100 percent subsidiary of Pharma Mar SA (PHM).
With this acquisition AkzoNobel strengthens its business and becomes a leader in the decorative paints market in Spain. It also means the company is now the leader in the country’s woodcare segment and has strengthened its position in metal care. The transaction marks the 45-year anniversary of AkzoNobel on the Spanish market.
Xylazel has about 100 employees, with one production facility in Porrino. Revenue for 2017 totalled approximately €20 million.
“As a part of our transformative strategy, we continue to focus on leading market positions delivering leading performance. This couples organic growth with strategic bolt-on acquisitions on top of operational excellence and continuous improvement. By acquiring Xylazel, we will be able to further grow our business in the region and strengthen our position as the leading paints and coatings company in Europe,” said Thierry Vanlancker, CEO of AkzoNobel.

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