Corma cooling system aids pipe production
CONCORD, ONTARIO — Corma Inc. claims its new corrugated pipe technology can boost production rates more than 50 percent.
The Concord-based firm uses air cooling of pipe in the mold. President Manfred Lupke said air cooling is at least 50 percent faster than radiant cooling in conventional corrugated pipe molds.
In an interview at Corma's head office, Lupke said his firm has applied for patents around the world for the new cooling technology, which he said also could apply to blow molding and injection molding. Corma recently sold corrugated pipe production lines with the new technology to undisclosed customers.
Corma's enhanced, internal mold-cooling system does not add much cost to a pipe line because a vacuum pump draws air through the mold. Lupke said an advantage over water-cooled molds is it eliminates leak problems. Lupke said his firm also is working on a new die design that gives stronger pipe walls than conventional spider dies.
Corma exports nearly all its machinery. The 25-year-old private firm has production plants in Concord and Ann Arbor, Mich., a foundry in Forest, Ontario, and sales and service centers in Japan, Hong Kong and Germany.
It claims to be the only corrugated machinery producer that does not also produce pipe.
PVC venture waiting to add third partner
OSLO, NORWAY — It may be too early for a North American partner to join the PVC resin joint venture formed in July by Norsk Hydro ASA and EVC International NV.
When Oslo-based Norsk Hydro announced its half-year results through June, Georg Stormer, corporate finance chief, said other PVC companies have indicated an interest in joining the merged group.
The venture is the first stage of a more widespread consolidation in the industry, Stormer said. He also said the alliance is seeking a new partner from North America.
But a spokeswoman for Amsterdam, Netherlands-based EVC said the partners are at an early stage of the agreed merger and will need to integrate their existing operations before any further expansion.
``The merged group will have future ideas of expansion and consolidation ... but it is premature to think of a new partner,'' she said.
The merger, which will create a company touted as the world's fourth-largest PVC resin manufacturer, is to be completed by the end of 1998.
Norsk will own 45 percent of the venture, which still is unnamed.
British Vita acquires compounder JGP Ltd.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — Foam producer and compounder British Vita plc has acquired the English compounding business of JGP Ltd. from DSM NV for £2.2 million ($3.63 million).
This is the third takeover in the last year by Manchester-based Vita. It also follows the group's $63.7 million investment in its Spartech Corp. of Clayton, Mo. in June. That investment raised Vita's stake to 40 percent of the plastic sheet and compound producer.
JGP of Washington, in northern England, manufactures ABS, polypropylene and polycarbonate compounds used mainly in the automotive and electrical sectors.
The firm employs 50 and had 1997 sales of $14.85 million. JGP will continue to buy ABS resin from DSM under a long-term supply contract, according to DSM.
JGP was part of DSM's Performance Polymers business group. DSM sold the unit as part of its strategy to focus on ABS production and compounding units close to its main resin facilities.
DSM Performance Polymers has a major compounding facility at Genk, Belgium.
In June, Vita announced its $56 million acquisition of Hyperlast Ltd. of Birch Vale, England, a supplier of liquid polyurethane systems. Hyperlast made a $3.79 million profit on 1997 sales of $39 million.
A year ago, Vita moved into color compounding with its purchase of Silvergate Plastics Ltd. of Wrexham, Wales, for $9 million. It had annual sales of $9.5 million.
Nova to cut costs with new power plant
JOFFRE, ALBERTA — Nova Corp. plans to build a power cogeneration plant at its Joffre polyethylene and petrochemical complex to cut costs.
Nova and partner CU Power International Ltd. of Calgary, Alberta, plan to spend C$320 million (US$211.6 million) on the project. They expect completion in early 2000, just before Nova begins operations at new PE and other plants.
The cogenerator will burn natural gas and supply steam heat and electricity for the entire Joffre complex. It will be capable of generating 400 megawatts of power, some of which will be fed into Alberta's provincial power grid.