Americhem targets Ill. site for closure
CUYAHOGA FALLS, OHIO For the second time within about a year, masterbatch producer Americhem Inc. plans to close a plant.
The firm said Sept. 25 it will shut down its Elgin, Ill., facility in early 2009. The Cuyahoga Falls firm will allocate Elgin's production to its four remaining plants.
``This is part of our overall strategy to consolidate and further invest in our major manufacturing facilities in the U.S.,'' said Dave Bouton, Americhem vice president and general manager, in a news release. ``This past year we've added significant capacity at our four major U.S. facilities and can absorb the Elgin products very effectively.''
Scott Blanchard, senior marketing specialist, said in a telephone interview that Americhem ``is extremely strong financially,'' but is feeling the impact of higher raw material prices as well as hikes in energy and transportation costs.
The Elgin site employs about 30. Each of the firm's other four plants employ at least twice that many workers, Blanchard said. The operation has focused on film and sheet, and construction markets. Where the work will go depends on the technical content of the masterbatches and customer location.
Elgin's closure is targeted for February. Early this year, Americhem closed another small plant, in Salisbury, Md.
Besides Cuyahoga Falls, Americhem operates production units in Mansfield, Texas; Concord, N.C.; Dalton, Ga.; Manchester, England; and Suzhou, China.
JAMA study links BPA to heart disease
CHICAGO The Journal of the American Medical Association has published a study linking high urinary bisphenol A concentrations with cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Authors of the BPA study concluded that higher BPA exposure as reflected in urinary concentrations could be associated with avoidable morbidity in the general adult population in the United States. They said they also found that higher BPA concentrations were associated with abnormal levels of three liver enzymes they examined. The American Medical Association and JAMA's editorial offices are based in Chicago.
The American Chemistry Council did not agree with the study's conclusions. The onset of the diseases occurred over time periods well before the BPA exposure measurements were made, according to the Arlington, Va., council.
ACC stated the study is mainly useful for generating hypotheses that can be tested with more appropriate experiments. As well, as noted by the study's authors, independent replication of the study and follow-up studies are needed to confirm the findings and to provide evidence of causal association, ACC said in a prepared statement. Until such work has been completed, it is premature to draw any conclusions on human health effects.
``Overall, due to inherent limitations in study design, this new study cannot support a conclusion that bisphenol A causes any disease,'' noted Steven Hentges, executive director for ACC's polycarbonate/BPA global group.
``The weight of scientific evidence continues to support the conclusion of governments worldwide that bisphenol A is not a significant health concern at the trace levels present in some consumer products.''
Ticona to produce LCP resins in China
DALLAS Ticona will begin manufacturing its Vectra-brand liquid crystal engineering polymers in Nanjing, China, in 2010.
Ticona plans to build a plant with annual capacity of 15.4 million pounds at the Nanjing chemical complex of its Dallas-based parent, Celanese Corp. Construction will begin next year. Investment costs were not disclosed.
The facility will be Ticona's fourth at the site, where it already manufactures Celstran long-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic and GUR ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene which added a line this summer. A new compounding plant is slated to start up early next year.
The Vectra facility in Nanjing will expand the material's global reach, as well as support Ticona's move into nonhalogenated materials, said Ticona President Sandy Beach Lin.
Ticona's main manufacturing plant for Vectra is currently in Shelby, N.C. It also makes the material at Polyplastics Co. Ltd. in Fuji, Japan, a joint venture plant between Ticona and Daicel Chemical Industries Ltd.
Ticona's global headquarters is in Kelsterbach, Germany.