Dow, Saudi Aramco join to build facility
MIDLAND, MICH. - Dow Chemical Co. is linking with Saudi Aramco to build a massive plastics and petrochemicals complex in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia.
The site will include world-scale production units for polyethylene, polycarbonate, epoxy resins and polyurethane components, as well as feedstocks ethylene and propylene and several other materials, officials said in a May 12 news release.
The complex will be integrated with Saudi Aramco's oil refinery in Ras Tanura and its gas processing plant in Ju'aymah. State-owned Saudi Aramco ranks as the world's largest oil company, based on reserves and production. The firm is based in Dhahran, Saudia Arabia.
Midland-based Dow ranks as one of the world's largest plastics and chemicals firms, posting sales of more than $49 billion in 2006. Dow has been active in the Middle East for several years. The firm already operates petrochemical operations in Egypt, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates and is working on a similar project in Oman.
Last month, Dow announced plans to work with state-owned National Oil Corp. of Libya to expand a plastics and petrochemicals complex in Ras Lanuf, Libya.
Schulman buys color concentrate maker
FAIRLAWN, OHIO - Compounder A. Schulman Inc. has added to its European holdings by acquiring Delta Plast Group, a color concentrate maker with plants in Sweden and Belgium.
``This opens up a new market for us in small-lot color concentrates,'' Schulman President and Chief Executive Officer Terry Haines said in a phone interview. ``We're big in color and additive concentrates for the packaging market, which is big volume business, but this will allow us to move into more specialty business.''
Haines described small lots as ``100 kilos up to truckload.'' No purchase price was disclosed in the deal. Delta Plast, founded in 1986, operates almost 8 million pounds of annual concentrate capacity and posted sales of about 13 million euros ($17.6 million) in 2006. A good portion of its sales are into the injection molding market.
Delta Plast ``is a high-quality organization,'' Haines added. ``It's a real Cadillac for that industry.''
The firm is based in Astorp, Sweden. Its plants are in Astorp and Opglabbeek, Belgium.
Haines said that Delta Plast CEO Ake Berg will remain with the business, and that it will continue to operate under its own name. Haines added Fairlawn-based Schulman is looking to make similar acquisitions.
Europe accounted for about 70 percent of Schulman's $1.6 billion sales total in its 2006 fiscal year. The region also brought in all of the firm's $32.7 million profit in that period. In the first half of Schulman's 2007 fiscal year, Europe generated 73 percent of the firm's sales.
Schulman ranks as one of North America's largest compounders and also operates a resin distribution unit.
Essel invests $14M in U.S. expansion
MUMBAI, INDIA - Laminated and plastic tubes maker Essel Propack Ltd. of Mumbai is investing $14 million to expand its facility in Danville, Va.
The investment will include equipment and building upgrades at the Danville site, officials said in a May 4 e-mail responding to questions about the project. Those upgrades are necessary for a new print production facility near its Arista Tubes Inc. facility in Danville; two new tube production lines; new-generation state-of-the-art combination print presses; improved warehousing; and enlarged office areas.
``Essel Propack is targeting a new market segment for cosmetics and high-end decorated tubes,'' said Ramdas Warrier, Essel's manager of corporate communications. ``To cater to this segment, it is imperative to create a separate print facility. The fresh investment of $14.2 million is being made primarily for this purpose.''
Essel opened its Danville facility in 2002 to serve Procter & Gamble Co. The newest expansion will create 35 jobs, bringing the local total to just more than 200, according to Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine's office.
``The U.S. and the Americas have a major role to play in our growth plans,'' said Ashok Goel, vice chairman and managing director of Essel Propack, in a news release. ``Our investments in Danville have proved to be right and we have growth from strength to strength in this market during the last five years.''
Reporting its first-quarter results on April 19, Essel recorded a growth of 33 percent in sales for the period compared to the same period in 2006, increasing from 2.8 billion rupees ($69 million). Its international operations, including the United States, contributed 75 percent of those sales, an increase from 70 percent in the same period in 2006.
``The contribution from overseas operations is steadily increasing quarter to quarter and year to year,'' Goel said.