Additives for Polymers
organic and inorganic pigments and fillers, used in the production of binder-free pigment concentrates. These concentrates are used in the formulation of water-borne alkyd- and acrylic paints as well as in polyurethane dispersions and two-component water-borne isocyanate systems. Additol VXW 6308 is designed for use in the pH-range of 3 to 10. In other recent news, St Louis based Solutia has launched a new website at www.solutia.com. The company says it provides visitors with a more user-friendly environment than previously, with easier navigation and an enhanced search capability. The new site contains links to all Solutia product websites. Solutia says the new site is the first public manifestation of its new brand identity. Contact: Solutia Inc, PO Box 66760, St Louis, MO 63166-6760, USA; tel: +1-314-674-1000; fax: +I-314-674-2490; URL: www.solutia.com
Degussa and Engineered Carbons combine North American carbon black businesses Degussa Corp, the North American arm of Germany’s Degussa AG, and Texas-based Engineered Carbons, Inc (ECI) have agreed to establish a 50:50 joint venture combining their North American carbon black businesses. The new joint venture is scheduled to begin operating on 1 January 2002, under the name Degussa Engineered Carbons, LP. The aim is to improve the competitiveness of both companies’ operations. The joint venture will serve the rubber-processing and speciality markets (including plastics, printing ink, lacquer and paint applications) with a full range of furnace and thermal blacks manufactured at the six US plants currently operated by Degussa and ECI. Under the terms of the agreement, marketing and sales will be the responsibility of Degussa’s Advanced Fillers & Pigments Business Unit. The deal also calls for a six-member board of directors, three each from Degussa and ECI. Degussa Engineered
Carbons will be headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, the location of Degussa Corp. Degussa is among the world’s leading producers of carbon blacks and also supplies a unique system of advanced filler materials for lyres, consisting of carbon blacks, precipitated silicas and silane coupling agents. Degussa says it also holds a leading position in speciality pigment blacks designed for coatings, inks and plastics. According to Dr Carl Voigt, executive vice president of Degussa, the joint venture takes the company forward to a leading position in North America while also enabling it to significantly increase its problem-solving potential to the benefit of customers. EC1 operates three plants in Orange, Borger and Baytown, TX. It has a solid reputation in the USA as a manufacturer of carbon blacks for the manufacture of tyres, hoses and belts, electrical wire, printing inks and other products. EC1 is a subsidiary of Ameripol Synpol Corporation of Port Neches, TX, a leading synthetic rubber producer in the USA. Mahendra Parekh, chairman and CEO of Ameripol Synpol, is optimistic about the deal, saying: “The combination creates a strong company well equipped to better serve a broad customer base with high quality products and unmatched service”. With six US carbon black manufacturers supplying about 70% of their product to just a handful of powerconsolidation was companies, ful tyre inevitable, according to Ameripol. While the company does not rule out workforce reductions in the future as a result of the joint venture, there are no immediate plans for job losses particularly in the manufacturing plants. Contact: Degussa Corporation, 379 Interpace Parkway, Building C, Parsippany, NJ 070540677, USA; tel: +l-973-541-8000; fax: +1-973541-8072; URL: www.degussa.de Engineered Carbons, Inc, PO Box 2831, Bor;pel; TX 79008-2831, USA; tel: tl-806-273-1414; f&x: +I -806-2 74-2998; URL: www.ameripol.com
PolyOne plans purchase of Spanish colorants producer PolyOne Corporation of Cleveland, OH, USA, announced during K 2001 that it has initiated proceedings to acquire 100% of the shares of
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TRANSCOLOR SA, a large colour concentrates producer operating in Spain. The parties are working together on the legal and financial process, and they expect to complete the transaction during the first half of 2002. TRANSCOLOR, whose plant is located near Pamplona in northern Spain, is an IS0 9000 accredited producer of colour concentrates, specializing in black and white products. Revenues in 2000 were approximately US$30 million. The existing management team is expected to remain following completion of the share purchase, helping to ensure continuity in customer service. According to Bernard Baert, vice president international operations for PolyOne, “TRANSCOLOR is an excellent company with a fine reputation with its customers. We have worked in cooperation with TRANSCOLOR for some time and it had become obvious that there were commercial advantages to be gained by deepening our business relationship. We feel very positive about working with the excellent management and sales team at TRANSCOLOR.” PolyOne had already developed an alliance with TRANSCOLOR, and moved production of some products there from the PolyOne colour plant at Saint-Ouen L’Aumone near Paris in France. Baert adds that the deal will free capacity at the French site, allowing that plant to fully focus on the production of colour additive systems for customers in the region. The site at Saint-Ouen L’Aumone is one of two centres operated by additive production PolyOne in France; the second is at Tossiat near Lyon. Both sites are engaged in producing masterbatch colour and additive systems that are compatible with PC, PE, PP, PS, PVC and other mainstream resins.
Contact: PolyOne Corp, Suite 36-5000, 200 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44114-2304, USA; tel: +l-216-589-4000; fax: +I-216-5894077; URL: www.polyone.com
Kerr-McGee Chemical to close Antwerp pigment plant As part of its strategy to improve efficiencies and enhance margins by rationalizing assets,
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Additives for Polymers
Kerr-McGee Chemical LLC has decided to close its titanium dioxide pigment plant in Antwerp, Belgium. Production at the plant will cease by the end of 2001. The Antwerp plant is Kerr-McGee’s smallest pigment plant. The company says it has both the capability and capacity to produce the same or similar grades at its other pigment plants located in Hamilton, MS, and Savannah, GA (USA), Uerdingen (Germany), Kwinana (Australia) and Botlek (The Netherlands). Kerr says it will continue to meet all customer requirements as usual, and will further efforts to enhance customer service and improve efficiencies. The company says that it will remain the world’s third largest producer and marketer of titanium dioxide, with an annual capacity of more than about 560 000 tonnes. The closure will result in the loss of 120 jobs at the plant. About 25 workers will continue their employment till March 2002 to assist with closing down the facility. Kerr-McGee Chemical will be taking an after-tax special charge in the fourth quarter of approximately $20 million as a result of this closure. The company’s long-term strategy continues to focus on the profitable growth of its titanium dioxide pigment business, which is its primary product. The company also operates an electrolytic and specialty chemicals business unit, with products such as manganese dioxide and sodium chlorate, and a forest products unit which specializes in the manufacture of treated wooden crossties for railways. In other news, the latest financial figures for Kerr-McGee Chemical show an operating profit of US$9 million for the third quarter of 2001, down from $56 million in the same quarter a year ago. As with most of the chemical industry, the company saw its TiO, pigment sales volumes fall steadily throughout the quarter, with prices also declining compared to 2000 levels. Market conditions worsened after the 11 September terrorist attacks. As a result, the company reduced production rates, and continues to review its operations. The company’s parent, Kerr-McGee Corp, reported total third quarter sales down 20% from a year ago to $884 million. Net income for the quarter (before special items) was $112 million, compared with $266 million in the same quarter of 2000.