The following materials-related news briefs were gathered by Plastics News Editor/Associate Publisher Robert Grace at the K show:
Borealis renames N.J. compounds unit
Danish polyolefins producer Borealis A/S finally has renamed the former Rockport, N.J., wire-and-cable compounding joint venture that it now wholly owns. On Nov. 1, Nova-Borealis Compounds LLC became Borealis Compounds LLC. The plant had been a 50/50 joint venture with Nova Chemicals Inc. since about 1997, but Borealis bought out Nova's stake last year, explained Staffan LennstrÃ¶m, executive vice president of Borealis' hydrocarbons business group.
The Rockport facility employs approximately 50, and has the capacity to make about 44 million pounds of polyolefin compounds for cables per year, including crosslinked PE compounds. The plant has been running only at 60-70 percent capacity, however, LennstrÃ¶m said.
Basell adding polybutene-1 capacity
Basell Polyolefins said it is building a 100 million-pound-per-year plant in Moerdijk, the Netherlands, to make polybutene-1 resin. Using the firm's own proprietary catalyst and process technology, the plant is due to employ 60 and start up on Jan. 1, 2003, according to President and Chief Executive Officer Volker Trautz. He said it will replace an unspecified, outdated plant in the United States.
While chemically similar to polypropylene, PB-1 offers different properties alone or in combination with other resins, and is said to have potential applications in films and packaging markets, fibers, fabrics and adhesives.
DuPont, Bayer in German PBT venture
DuPont Co. and Bayer AG said they will invest more than 50 million euros ($45 million) in a 50/50 joint venture called DuBay Polymer GmbH that will produce polybutylene terephthalate resins for the automotive and electronic industries.
Based at DuPont's Hamm-Uentrop site in Germany, about 125 miles from Dusseldorf, will go on stream in 2003 with an annual production capacity of about 175 million pounds, according to David Mays, European marketing director for DuPont Engineering Polymers.
Dow plans R&D lab for TP composites
Dow Plastics is building a research and development laboratory at its LaPorte, Texas, site that will be dedicated its Fulcrum thermoplastic composite technology. The firm said the initial stages of the facility will be complete and the first line operational by year's end. It gave no investment figure for the lab.
Separately, the Midland, Mich.-based Dow announced that Composite Technologies Corp. in Boone, Iowa, had signed on as the latest licensee for its Fulcrum technology. CTC said it plans to employ the materials to make a fiber composite connector used in its Thermomass insulated concrete panel wall system.
Radici expands upstream in Germany
Italian chemicals, textiles, resins and compounds producer Radici Group is taking steps to vertically integrate further by bringing on stream this month in Germany a large plant to make adipic acid, much of which is used in nylon resin production. The plant, at Zeitz/Sassonia-Anhalt, has the capacity to make more than 175 million pounds of adipic acid per year, and Radici plans to sell much of it on the open market.
This plant is one of three at the site. Radici also built a nitric acid plant and phenol hydrogenation plant there. Altogether, the firm said it invested some DM 380 million ($173.7 million) in the complex, which it started building in August 1999.