AKRON, OHIO - Several major polyethylene producers joined Dow Chemical Co. last week, announcing they, too, were pursuing additional, 5 cent-per-pound price increases for July 1. Producers already have hiked prices for low and linear low density PE resins by 10 cents per pound, and high density PE by 6 cents per pound, since April 1. HDPE makers have another 4 cent-per-pound price increase on the table that was to take effect June 1.
It remains too early to gauge the market success of that latest increase.
Dow announced May 28 it would seek the additional 5 cents per pound because it continues to see strong demand for its PE resins and increasing prices for ethylene monomer.
Last week Quantum Chemical Co. of Cincinnati, Lyondell Petrochemical Co. of Houston, Novacor Chemicals Inc. of Leominster, Mass., Chevron Corp. of Houston, Fina Oil & Chemical Co. of Dallas, Phillips Petroleum Co. of Bartlesville, Okla., and Exxon Chemical Co. of Houston announced they, too, would attempt to increase prices again July 1.
The latest announcements affect LDPE, LLDPE and HDPE resins.
Fire disrupts Lyondell olefins operations
HOUSTON - A fire at Lyondell Petrochemical Co. disrupted olefin monomer operations June 3, putting a pump and controls facility out of commission.
The fire affected pumping, drying and controlling equipment at Lyondell's storage facilities for ethylene and propylene at its Mont Belvieu, Texas, petrochemical complex, a company executive said in a telephone interview June 4.
The fire did not affect the company's ability to make monomers, but did affect the way it moved monomers out of storage to its polymerization units and to its outside customers.
Initial signs were that the damages were minor, not severe, the executive said.
Lyondell's polypropylene production at the facility was put out of service, but was back in production June 5.
The executive said the Houston company was assessing damages, and, while it had not declared force majeure, Lyondell did advise its customers that it could have problems supplying their monomer needs.
Accident kills Lerio temporary employee
CAMPBELL CITY, FLA. - A temporary employee at Lerio Corp. in Campbell City was struck and killed June 1 by a 600-pound aluminum blow mold used for making flower pots.
The accident occurred when the mold was being lifted by a forklift truck for placement into a rack for storage. ``It's our first fatality in 81 years,'' said plant manager Michael Robson. ``We're still not sure how it happened.''
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has investigated, but did not have any immediate recommendations, Robson said.
Lerio is privately owned, with five plants in the southeastern United States. The Campbell City plant does injection molding, blow molding and thermoforming, Robson said.
Rotonics files countersuit against Bonar
GARDENA, CALIF. - Gardena-based Rotonics Manufacturing Inc., a rotational molding firm, announced June 3 that it had filed a reply and counterclaims to a lawsuit filed by Bonar U.S. Inc., on April 16.
Rotonics denies Bonar's allegations and is seeking damages totaling $25.2 million. Bonar filed suit for more than $7 million.
Bonar, also a rotational molder, is a unit of Low & Bonar plc. The firm had been negotiating with Rotonics to acquire it. The talks were terminated after an unidentified third party expressed interest in Rotonics at a price per share greater than Bonar's offer of $2.34 per share, valuing Rotonics around $33 million.
In its countersuit, Rotonics is seeking compensation for ``a breach of royalty agreement with Bonar, a breach of a confidentiality agreement with Bonar, misappropriation of trade secrets and intentional interference with a prospective economic advantage which the company obtained as a result of an indication of interest from a third party.''
In Plastics News' 1995 survey of North American rotational molders, Bonar ranked No. 4, with rotomolding sales of $40 million, and Rotonics ranked No. 7, with sales of $36 million.