BASF to cut 15 jobs in PU plant closing
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - BASF Corp. will close its polyurethane formulations plant in Carrollton, Texas, by mid-2006, eliminating 15 jobs.
Work done in Carrollton will be transferred to similar BASF plants in the United States, officials with the Florham Park-based firm said in a news release.
The plant makes formulations for spray-applied insulation foam and other applications. BASF PU Vice President Bill Bernstein said the closing is part of a BASF program to cut fixed costs in North America.
The closing will not affect customer shipments, he said.
Daicel buys majority of Celanese COC biz
TOKYO - Celanese Corp. of Dallas is selling its cyclic olefin copolymer business to one of its joint venture partners.
Daicel Chemical Industries Ltd. of Tokyo will hold 55 percent of the new joint venture. The remaining 45 percent will be owned by Tokyo-based Polyplastics Co. Ltd., an acetal-making venture between Daicel and Celanese's Ticona unit.
Celanese had operated the COC business under the Topas brand name as part of Ticona.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Celanese produces COCs at a single site in Oberhausen, Germany. The business has 100 employees worldwide.
Earlier this year, Ticona had commercialized a pair of new Topas grades for optical markets such as lenses for printers and cell-phone cameras. Most Topas applications have been in blister packaging for pharmaceuticals.
Celanese had announced plans to sell the COC business, as well as its stake in a fuel-cell developer, in January when it became a public company.
Sales in China boost profit for GE Plastics
PITTSFIELD, MASS. - GE Plastics nearly doubled its profit in the first nine months of the year, partly because of strong sales growth in China.
Pittsfield-based GE Plastics earned $645 million on sales of almost $5 billion for the period. In the same period last year, profit was $346 million on sales of about $4.4 billion.
In a news release, officials with General Electric Co. - the Fairfield, Conn.-based parent of GE Plastics - said plastics sales in China jumped 61 percent in the third quarter, compared with the same quarter in 2004.
The third quarter of 2005 also marked the opening of a new plastics automotive testing laboratory in Tochigi, Japan. The lab, in GE's technical center, will seek to advance automotive safety technology by working with global automakers and suppliers, according to company officials.
Plastics generated about 4 percent of total GE sales in the first nine months of 2005.
The company's plastics business ranks among the world's largest producers of polycarbonate, ABS and other specialty plastics.