AKRON, OHIO - Three polypropylene producers confirmed late last week that they have, or soon will, institute price increases, and industry sources said several others may follow suit. A source at Shell Polypropylene Division confirmed a 3 cent-per-pound increase effective Feb. 15 on all PP products. The division, formerly a unit of Shell Chemical Co., is being sold to Union Carbide Co.; the sale was due to be completed last week.
Solvay Polymers Inc. and Montell Polyolefins also will levy 3-cent increases effective Feb. 15, spokesmen for both companies said.
A spokeswoman for Exxon Chemical Co., said it is company policy not to discuss price increases or decreases, but sources said Exxon and Amoco Chemical Co. will join in the 3-cent price hikes, possibly as early as March 1.
Gundle to buy British geomembrane firm
HOUSTON - Gundle/SLT Environmental Inc. has signed letters of intent to buy an English geomembrane maker, and to sell its interests in a South Dakota clay liner manufacturer.
Houston-based Gundle, known as GSE, will acquire SGS Geosystems Ltd., of Soham, England. The company makes blown film landfill liners and other geomembranes, and is a logical addition to GSE's lines of flat-cast plastic liners, according to GSE officials. No purchase price was disclosed.
GSE also will sell its interest in GSE Clay Lining Technology Co., of Spearfish, S.D., a maker of clay lining materials.
The acquisition and sale allow GSE to concentrate on the production of its polyethylene and other plastic liners.
Gundle to buy British geomembrane firm
SUMMIT, N.J. - Hoechst Technical Polymers will acquire nonexclusive global rights to buy, market and use Amoco Polymers' liquid crystal polymer to develop new LCP products, to be targeted at electronic connectors and other niche markets.
The agreement, announced Jan. 18, bars Hoechst only from marketing Amoco LCPs in Japan, where Amoco's joint venture partner Nippon Petrochemical sells the product under its Xydar trade name. Hoechst also may distribute certain LCP compounds under that name in both North America and Europe.
The Summit-based unit of Hoechst Celanese Corp. manufactures its own line of LCPs worldwide under the Vectra trademark at plants in Shelby, N.C., and Fuji, Japan.
Amoco Polymers spokesman Roy Duffus said his company will supply Hoechst from its Augusta, Ga., plant, which has LCP capacity of 7 million pounds a year. Amoco Polymers is based in Alpharetta, Ga.
Celmex to boost BOPP film production
MONTERREY, MEXICO - Mexican chemicals company Celanese Mexicana SA de CV has announced a US$50 million plan to increase its output of biaxially oriented polypropylene film.
The project, a joint venture between Celmex, a Monterrey-based subsidiary of Germany's Hoechst AG, and film maker Hoechst Trespaphan, will involve the expansion of BOPP film production at the Celanese plant at Zacapu, Mexico.
The size of the capacity increase is subject to the outcome of a feasibility study it is conducting, Celmex said.
Celmex expects that a US$50 million investment at the plant will result in additional film capacity of about 66 million pounds a year.
ACI Rockware buys molder Labplas
LONDON - ACI Rockware Ltd. of Kingston upon Thames, England, has acquired the business and assets of Labplas Ltd., a Chalgrove, England, single-stage injection stretch blow molder.
ACI is a subsidiary of BTR plc of London, an industrial holding company.
In a company statement, Philip Aiken, managing director of BTR Nylex Ltd., a Melbourne, Australia-based company in the parent's BTR Packaging Group, said the $3.6 million acquisition will make ACI Rockware one of the largest injection stretch blow molders in Europe, and will enable the company to enter new markets for PET container molding in Europe.
Labplas will be known as ACI Rockware Plastics. The purchase cost $3.6 million.
The parent company's holdings also include Continental PET Technologies Inc. of Florence, Ky., a member of the ACI Packaging Group.