PET producers seeking price increase
AKRON, OHIO — Major PET makers are attempting to reverse seasonal price swings with increases of 5 cents per pound set to take effect April 1.
Market leader Eastman Chemical Co. of Kingsport, Tenn., has announced the hike, along with DuPont of Wilmington, Del., and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. America of Livingston, N.J.
Industry sources said KoSa Ltd. and Shell Chemical Co., both based in Houston, plan similar announcements by next week.
Since pushing through a 3 cent-per-pound price increase in May, PET makers have seen U.S. prices drop an average of 10 cents per pound. Nan Ya PET sales director Robert Taylor said the increase is needed to cover raw material increases that are expected to hit in the second quarter and to fund capacity expansions that will be needed in 2001.
``There's some overcapacity right now, but we see supply being balanced in 2000 and a shortage in 2001,'' Taylor said.
Double-digit growth fueled by increase in single-serve bottle use is expected to continue. Nan Ya estimated 1998 demand growth in the U.S. and Canada at 15 percent.
Stull completes move, adds machines
SOMERSET, N.J. — Stull Technologies has completed its move to a new headquarters in Somerset, and now is installing new injection molding equipment.
Stull has installed a new 330-ton Milacron electric press and ordered four more machines ranging from 330-440 tons. Within the next two months, Stull will begin molding ABS material using two new electric, 110-ton machines. The company now has 48 presses.
``This is just the beginning of our three-year plan to update our molding capabilities to state-of-the-art technology,'' said Dirk Beaumont, vice chairman. The plan includes purchasing more presses, assembly and lining machines; updating the facility; replacing 50 percent of the existing equipment with new Milacron electric presses; and ISO 9002 certification.
Stull closed its former headquarters in Randolph, N.J. The company, which reported injection moldings sales of $29 million last year, makes custom-designed closures for the health and beauty aid, food, pharmaceutical and household chemicals industries.
Court doubles amount Popoli must pay
FORT MYERS, FLA. — A federal court has doubled the amount convicted plastics counterfeiter Thomas Popoli owes resin maker Ticona to $4 million.
U.S. District Court in Fort Myers, Fla., awarded Ticona, a division of Hoechst AG of Frankfurt, Germany, more than $2 million in lawyers' fees and prejudgment interest in a Jan. 27 ruling.
The court previously awarded Ticona more than $2 million in damages based on Popoli's labeling and selling of low-priced Asian acetal resin as higher-priced, Ticona-branded acetal in 1993 and 1994.
Popoli, former owner of Nylon Engineering Resins Inc. in Fort Myers, was convicted of 23 counts of fraud and conspiracy relating to the case in January 1998. He is free on bond awaiting sentencing.
BFGoodrich to cut 150 from work force
Brecksville, Ohio — BFGoodrich Co. is tightening its belt at its Performance Materials division in Brecksville, leading to the loss of at least 150 jobs.
The company expects the cuts, scheduled to be in place by early April, to save between $10 million and $12 million a year. They represent about one-fourth of the division's 625 employees.
The firm's specialty plastics include thermoplastic polyurethanes, chlorinated PVC and other specialty engineering resins. Its polymer additives line includes antioxidants and accelerators.
BFG spokesman Rob Jewell said the job cuts will be ``across the board,'' affecting polymer additives/specialty plastics as much as the other two Performance Materials divisions — consumer specialties and textiles/industrial coatings.
Jewell said the cuts aren't a direct result of business decisions or of the company's decision to move its global headquarters from Richfield, Ohio, to Charlotte, N.C., after its merger with Charlotte-based Coltec Industries is completed. Performance Materials will continue to be based in Brecksville, about 15 miles south of Cleveland.