Nova JV cutting EPS production in Europe
PITTSBURGH - Nova Chemicals Corp. said its Nova Innovene joint venture is cutting expandable polystyrene production in Europe.
The venture is halting production at its 145 million-pound-per-year EPS plant in Berre, France. It also will close permanently an EPS plant in Carrington, England, that has been idle since October 2002. Nova of Pittsburgh said Oct. 11 that it will take an asset write-down of $75 million for its third quarter related to the moves.
Nova spokesman Greg Wilkinson said the closures are a response to EPS overcapacity in Europe. The joint venture expects cost savings of $40 million from the closures and related initiatives. The closures remove nearly 30 percent of Nova Innovene's EPS capacity and shrink Western Europe's capacity by more than 10 percent.
Vetrotex to increase its capacity in China
CHAMBERY, FRANCE - France's Saint-Gobain Vetrotex plans to expand its thermoplastic production capacity in China.
The company intends to produce key chopped-strand products in China for polyamide, polybutylene terephthalate, PET, polypropylene and specialty thermoplastic resin systems.
Chambery-based Saint-Gobain Vetrotex has two manufacturing joint ventures, in Beijing and Hangzhou, China.
Beijing Vetrotex started in 1996. Its products are exported to the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Israel and Asian countries.
Hangzhou Vetrotex was founded in 2001 with a 10 percent investment from Hangzhou Glass Group Ltd. and 90 percent from Saint-Gobain. The joint venture covers about 12 acres of land and employs 370. It has two production lines with combined annual capacity of 32,500 tons.
Spokesperson Erwann Mao did not reply to inquiries about the expansion's details, but the company plans to make Hangzhou Vetrotex its largest production base in Asia, according to its Web site.
Vetrotex America is based in Valley Forge, Pa.
Ciba plans Singapore antioxidant facility
SINGAPORE - Ciba Specialty Chemicals Inc. is going to build an antioxidant plant in Singapore.
The additives maker in Basel, Switzerland, plans to invest US$100 million in the company's first production facility in Singapore, 34 years after establishing its first presence in the country.
Armin Meyer, chairman and chief executive officer, said the plant is at a central location ``to serve the fast-growing demand of plastic manufacturing in Asia and the Middle East.''
Spokesman Thomas Gerlach said he expects construction to start in early 2006 on the 280,000-square-foot plant. Production should begin in early 2008. The plant will produce Irganox antioxidants, with an initial capacity of 66 million pounds per year.
Gerlach said the plant will create fewer than 100 jobs.
Ciba said it will continue to expand its production network in Asia, which currently consists of 21 manufacturing facilities. The firm is constructing a plant in India for its Coating Effects products.
In April, Ciba opened a 64,600-square-foot research and development center in Shanghai.
Ciba posted 7 billion Swiss francs (US$ 5.4 billion) in 2004 global sales; 27 percent was generated in the Asia-Pacific region.
Axiom plans to make fuel from plastics
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Melbourne-based Axiom Energy Ltd. plans to produce 3 million gallons of low-sulfur diesel fuel a year using waste plastics.
Axiom Energy will be the first Australian company to use Melbourne-based environmental technology provider Ozmotech Pty. Ltd.'s ThermoFuel system, which converts commingled waste plastics from varied sources, including contaminated domestic waste, into a fuel suitable for use in a standard diesel engine.
Ozmotech Chief Executive Officer Garry Baker said Axiom Energy will buy two ThermoFuel systems that convert 20 tons of plastic a day for installation in a Melbourne plant, to be commissioned in 2006.
Axiom has an option to purchase another 13 systems for installation throughout Australia and New Zealand during the next four years.
Axiom has signed a deal with Melbourne-based Visy Industries Pty. Ltd., a diversified packaging manufacturer, to supply waste plastic.
The ThermoFuel process uses liquefaction, pyrolysis and catalytic breakdown of plastics.