Comments Email Print

WILMINGTON, DEL. - DuPont Engineering Polymers announced April 3 it will invest $45 million by the end of 1996 to increase its production capacity for acetal resins. Capacity at plants in Parkersburg, W.Va., and Dordrecht, the Netherlands, will be expanded by 99 million pounds annually.

Also, the company's DuPont China Ltd. unit will begin pro-duction of acetal in Shenzhen, China, by the end of 1995. Acetal will be the first engineering polymer made by DuPont China. The company did not reveal the acetal production capacity for its Chinese facility. DuPont also makes acetal at facilities in Ulsan, Korea; Utsunomiya, Japan; and Tuas, Singapore.

Alpha/Owens-Corning adds resin capacity

COLLIERVILLE, TENN. - Alpha/Owens-Corning announced April 10 it added production capacity for unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins by 50 million pounds a year and intends to add capacity by another 50 million pounds by the end of 1996.

When the second expansion is completed, Alpha/Owens-Corning will be able to produce 580 million pounds of the resins a year, said Jack Roesle, vice president of sales and marketing. Alpha/Owens-Corning is jointly owned by Alpha Corp. of Collierville, and Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. of Toledo, Ohio.

The firm also plans to add capacity at its facility in Kathleen, Fla., and at plants in Perris, Calif.; Valparaiso, Ind.; and Guelph, Ontario, in 1996. New automa-tion equipment will increase production at Kathleen by 25 million pounds a year, while debottlenecking projects at the other facilities will add 25 million pounds a year, the firm said.

Alpha/Owens-Corning, based in Collierville, claims to be the largest producer of unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins in North America.

BASF AG to increase caprolactam capacity

LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY - BASF AG intends to expand production of caprolactam and nylon 6 significantly at facilities in Freeport, Texas, and Antwerp, Belgium, by the end of 1996.

At Freeport, BASF said it will increase production capacity for caprolactam, a precursor chemical used to make nylon, by 150 million pounds, and production of nylon 6 by 35 million pounds.

At Antwerp, BASF will increase capacity for caprolactam by 100 million pounds, and production of nylon 6 by 120 million pounds.

BASF, based in Ludwigshafen, said the increases are targeted at providing additional resins for synthetic fibers used to make textiles, industrial products and carpets and polymers used in molded products.

Companies set for ethyene expansion

AKRON, OHIO - Several chemical firms announced they intend to increase production of ethylene, a primary feedstock used to make a variety of polymers that has been in tight supply:

Phillips Petroleum Co. of Bartlesville, Okla., said it will add 800 million pounds of ethylene production capacity at its Sweeny, Texas, refinery, to increase its capacity to 4.4 billion pounds a year by late 1996.

Also, Phillips said it will add production capacity for polyethylene at its Houston Chemical Complex in Houston to 2.2 billion pounds a year by late 1997. The plant now can produce 1.8 billion pounds of PE a year.

Huntsman Corp. of Salt Lake City said it will increase its pro-duction capacity for ethylene by 500 million pounds at its Port Arthur, Texas, ethylene plant by the third quarter of 1997.

In the fourth quarter of 1994, Huntsman restarted two ethylene furnaces at its Port Neches, Texas, facility.

Huntsman will have the capacity to produce 2.2 billion pounds of ethylene a year at Port Arthur.

Eastman Chemical Co. of Kingsport, Tenn., said it will add 200 million pounds of ethylene production capacity at its Longview, Texas, plant by the middle of 1997. The debottlenecking also will increase production of propylene monomer by 60 million pounds at the Longview plant.

Polimeri Europa srl starts up operation

DANBURY, CONN. - Union Carbide Corp. of Danbury and Eni-Chem SpA of Milan, Italy, said April 3 their European joint venture, Polimeri Europa srl, began operations. Marcello Colitti is president and Daniel C. Scheid is managing director and chief executive officer.

Polimeri Europa combinesEniChem's polyethylene pro-duction and research and development plants in Italy, Germany and France with Union Carbide's gas-phase, Unipol production process. It has the capacity to produce 2.9 billion pounds of PE annually, and the firm said it will later integrate ethylene pro-duction capacity.

PVC plant acquisition obtains FTC approval

COLUMBUS, OHIO - Borden Chemicals and Plastics Limited Partnership received approval from the Federal Trade Commission to acquire a 450 million-pound-per-year PVC production facility at Addis, La., from Occidental Chemical Corp. of Dallas.

The company later announced it intends to raise $200 million in debt through unsecured, senior notes due 2005, and planned to secure a $100 million revolving line of credit. Borden said $150 million of the new debt will be used to finance a portion of the acquisition of the Addis plant, and the credit will be used for working capital, including partial payment of the purchase price for the Addis plant.

Mold-testing shop opens in Michigan

MADISON HEIGHTS, MICH. - American Integrated Technologies Inc., a new mold tryout shop, has opened in Michigan.

Serving mainly toolmakers, the Madison Heights company has eight injection molding presses, all of them used machines, with clamping forces of 85-1,000 tons. The machines, five Van Dorns, two Farrells and one Cincinnati Milacron, have been reconditioned and are equipped with hydraulic core pulls and auxiliary equipment.

As a service to customers, the company videotapes each mold tryout using two closed-circuit cameras mounted above the pla-tens of each machine. James Towe, plant manager, said the videotape records mold operation and part ejection.

American also offers dimensional layouts using a coordinate measuring machine. The firm is buying software that will coordinate data about parts with a customer's computer-aided-design data.

Briefly . . .

Shedding one of its last noncore businesses, M.A. Hanna Co. of Cleveland announced April 12 it agreed to sell Day International Inc., a maker of printing blankets used on offset printing presses and products used to make textile yarns and fabrics, to American Industrial Partners Capital Fund of San Francisco. Terms of the agreement, which is expected to close within 90 days, were not disclosed. ... AlliedSignal Plastics of Morristown, N.J., announced it increased its prices for its nylon and PET resins by 7 percent, effective April 15.