Material Insights: Sept. 10, 2012

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Resin plants’ efforts to recover from Hurricane Isaac are featured in this week’s Materials Insight video. Numerous plants in the Louisiana including those making PE, PP and PVC had closed in advance of the storm, which hit Aug. 28. Most of those plants now are returning to normal operating rates, according to the PetroChem Wire consulting firm in Houston. PCW market analyst David Barry said that at most some resin deliveries from plants in the region might be delayed by 48 hours. A corporate reshuffling at Dow Chemical Co. also is featured in this week’s video. The plastics and chemicals giant has formed a five-member executive committee that includes chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris and longtime executive James Fitterling. Dow also named 13 business presidents including Diego Donoso (PE and packaging) and Kim Mink (elastomers and two other units). The video wraps up with a trio of bioplastics news items. Bioplastics maker Cereplast has received a $5 million investment from Ironridge Technology as it works to recover from a rough first half of 2012. MGP Ingredients of Atchison, Kan., also has launched its first biodegradable resin, aimed at injection molded industrial and consumer products. And in Blair, Neb., bioplastics maker NatureWorks LLC has increased capacity by about 7 percent and added specialty production by installing proprietary equipment from Swiss manufacturer Sulzer Chemtech.