AlphaGary expands operation in U.K. LEOMINSTER, MASS. — AlphaGary Corp. has moved its U.K. operation into roomier quarters to expand its offerings to international customers.
The 55-employee thermoplastic elastomer compounding operation moved from a 75,000-square-foot plant in Syston, England, to a 100,000-square-foot facility in Melton Mowbray, England, an AlphaGary spokeswoman said.
As the company reaches full operations at the new site, it expects to add as many as 20 employees, she said.
AlphaGary's parent company, Laporte plc, invested $25 million in the new plant, located on a 10-acre plot nine miles from the Syston location, the company said.
The Melton Mowbray plant is identical to AlphaGary's 122,000-square-foot Pineville, N.C., site and can compound the firm's full line of thermoplastic elastomers, polyurethane and other plastics, the company said.
It also has a segregated compounding area to mix products for medical-device and regulated-packaging applications, something the Syston site did not have, the spokeswoman said.
AlphaGary said it aims to offer the same level of service and production to European, Middle Eastern and African customers as to U.S. customers.
Headquartered in Leominster AlphaGary employs about 270 in North America and 400 worldwide.
In addition to Pineville and Leominster, it operates North American manufacturing plants in Newark, N.J., and Stoney Creek, Ontario.
London-based Laporte reported more than $1.37 billion in 1998 sales.
Shell Chemical sells Resina Chemie unit
FOXHOL, NETHERLANDS — Shell Chemical Co. continues to restructure its product portfolio, on Feb. 3 agreeing to sell its Dutch polyurethane system and compounding business to a management group.
Shell sold Resina Chemie BV, which it had acquired in 1987. Terms were not disclosed.
The Foxhol-based unit reported annual sales of 25 million euros ($25.77 million), according to Houston-based Shell.
Senior managers who led the buyout include General Manager Fred Bouwmeester. The deal creates one of Europe's bigger independent polyurethane system producers. Resina Chemie develops and prepares fully formulated PU systems and compounds used in rigid foams for spray-in insulation, panel filling, continuous lamination and appliance insulation. The company has customers across Europe, with its primary markets in France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
The operation employs 45.
On Feb. 3 Shell also had announced a definitive agreement to sell its global PET resin operations to Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi of Torona, Italy.
Groupe Sidel reports '99 sales increase
LE HAVRE, FRANCE — Groupe Sidel shrugged off economic problems in Eastern Europe and South America to report a 1999 sales increase of nearly 10 percent.
The French maker of PET blow molding machines and conveying equipment said its sales grew to 878 euros ($935 million) in 1999, an increase of 9.7 percent.
Blow molding and filling equipment accounts for about three-quarters of total sales at Sidel, based in Le Havre. Sidel said it has expanded its product line in filling machines.
The other sectors include engineering and conveying equipment, overwrapping and palletizing machines and the health and cosmetics sector, which includes tube-filling machinery.
Sidel said its 1999 order book grew 16.1 percent, to 431 million euros ($459 million), through Dec. 31.
Sidel announced a major technology in 1999 — the Actis process for coating the inside of a PET bottle with a barrier to oxygen and carbon dioxide. Sidel is billing Actis as an alternative to multilayer bottles to hold beer.
IFS adds soft-touch coating to paint line
DEER CREEK, MINN. — Industrial Finishing Services Inc. is diversifying its customer base for its plastics painting services.
The Deer Creek-based firm has added soft-touch painting of ABS interior truck parts to business handled by its relatively new Class A liquid paint line, said sales manager Lin Peterson.
The paint line, which started up in October 1998, originally was dedicated to painting automotive aftermarket parts designed and distributed by J-Mark Inc. of Plymouth, Minn.
Soft-touch coatings provide a flexible surface on rigid plastics. Peterson said his firm also is investigating using the technology for interior auto parts.
IFS spent about $750,000 on the paint line, which can handle parts up to 8 feet long, 6 feet wide and 4 feet deep. The clean-room line can coat plastics ranging from polyolefin elastomers to urethanes and sheet molding compounds.
IFS said it can paint with urethane coatings and those based on thermoset acrylics.
The new line, IFS's entry into plastic painting, was urged by J-Mark. IFS's main business had been powder coating of metal.
Chemopetrol planning Czech Republic plant
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC — Chemopetrol AS plans to construct a 441 million-pound-per-year polyethylene plant in the Czech Republic as part of a 10-year expansion program worth 8 billion Czech korunas ($229 million).
The Prague-based petrochemical company, which just signed a CSK2 billion ($57 million) contract to build the PE plant, expects the unit to start production in early 2002.
The new plant will raise Chemopetrol's PE capacity to 705 million pounds per year, according to the company.
Solvay Polyolefins acquires Padanaplast
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — Solvay Polyolefins Europe is broadening its specialty compounding portfolio with the takeover of family-owned compounder Padanaplast SpA.
SPE is buying an 80 percent stake in the Roccabianca, Italy, company, which makes cross-linkable polyolefin compounds, chiefly used for hot water pipes and electrical cable sheathing.
Padanaplast has annual sales of 25 million euros ($25.77 million) and employs 70.
SPE, based in Brussels, already supplies high density polyethylene to pipe extrusion companies, but the cross-linked varieties will be new to the company.