Clariant Corp. shutting two factories
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Responding to overcapacity in a North American market still affected by the economic downturn, Clariant Corp. said Oct. 2 it will close masterbatch plants in Lachine, Quebec, and Milford, Del. Work will shift to existing plants, principally in Albion, Mich., and Toronto, the firm said.
Production at the Lachine site is expected to end in December. Production in Milford will be phased out gradually and halt altogether in mid-2010.
As the automotive and construction industries nosedived, so has the demand for many of the products produced in our Milford facility, said Steve Snow, head of Clariant's North American masterbatches business, in a news release.
The decision affects 10 full-time employees at Lachine and 33 at Milford. The workers will receive severance packages.
A limited number of workers are expected to be hired in Albion and Toronto to accommodate the transferred business.
SPI: Exports balance weak US market
WASHINGTON Strong exports helped to counter a soft domestic market for U.S. plastic products in 2008, according to a report from the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
U.S. plastic exports exceeded the $50 billion mark for the first time in 2008, checking in at $51 billion for the year, according to the Oct. 21 report from Washington-based SPI.
The $51 billion represented an increase of more than 4 percent from 2007, according to SPI. Exports accounted for almost 20 percent of domestic plastics business during 2008.
By comparison, shipments to the domestic market fell about 1 percent in 2008 as the recession began to take its toll on U.S. consumption, SPI said.
The U.S. plastics market also posted a surplus of $13 billion in 2008 a leap of more than 20 percent vs. the prior year. All of those funds can be credited to a surplus of more than $18 billion in plastic resins and raw materials, according to the report.
Canada and Mexico remained the top plastic trading partners for the U.S., with a combined 42 percent share of U.S. exports.
The largest trade shortfall for the U.S. plastics industry is its $5.2 billion deficit with China, the third-largest export destination for U.S. firms.
In spite of trade barriers in a number of overseas markets, U.S. plastics remain competitive and highly desired in the international marketplace, SPI said.
Dover Chemical upgrades operations
DOVER, OHIO Dover Chemical Corp. has completed another phase of improvements at its phosphite operations in Dover. The company's phosphite products are used as stabilizers in plastics processing.
The project enhances Dover Chemical's ability to supply all liquid and solid phosphites, including Doverphos Hi Pure TNPP, said President Dwain Colvin. Demand for that material has increased, Colvin said, from customers trying to avoid nonylphenol.
Jen-Coat's Tekkote unit changes hands
LEONIA, N.J. The Tekkote division of Jen-Coat Inc. has been purchased by an investor group led by its general manager and has been renamed Tekkote Corp.
Larry Goldman, one of the original founders of Leonia-based Tekkote, will become president and CEO. At Jen-Coat, he was a vice president and general manager of the Tekkote division.
All of the company's management and staff will remain with the company, according to a news release. Further details and the purchase price were not disclosed.
Tekkote makes silicone-coated release liners. It was started 22 years ago and has been owned by Jen-Coat the past 10 years.
The sale of this division will further enable Jen-Coat to focus on its core business of extrusion coating, laminating and value-added printing, said Jim Kauffman, Jen-Coat president and CEO.
Privately owned Jen-Coat in Westfield, Mass., supplies flexible packaging materials for food, medical and industrial markets. Brookwood Associates of Atlanta was its financial adviser on the deal.
Recycler gets help sorting materials
TAMPA, FLA. People with disabilities in West Virginia are playing a key role in Commercial Plastics Recycling Inc.'s material stream providing value-added services to a process that would otherwise require the services of low-cost labor countries to stay competitive.
Tampa-based CPR employs several people through the Jackson County Development Center in Millwood, W.Va., to help sort post-industrial plastics before the materials are reground at its 53,500-square-foot plant in Millwood.
With the increased workload, JCDC has been able to add a supervisor and return to a five-day work week, after the group had cut back due to the recession.
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