US: DuPont – TiO2

US: DuPont – TiO2

PIG307 3/23/07 11:36 AM Page 6 F O C U S booming demand. The company is adding 15,000 sq ft of floor space to its existing 90,000 sq ft facility a...

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PIG307

3/23/07

11:36 AM

Page 6

F O C U S booming demand. The company is adding 15,000 sq ft of floor space to its existing 90,000 sq ft facility at Dalton, GA. The expansion is due to completed by Spring 2007. Americhem is also spending $2.3 M to add 2000 sq ft of space for additional research and development facilities at Cuyahoga Falls, OH. Plastics News, 31 Jan 2007, (Website: http://www.plasticsnews.com)

US: DuPont – TiO2 DuPont plans to spend $30 M to install a new titanium tetrachloride purification unit at its New Johnsonville plant in Tennessee. The new unit should be ready for operation by Q3 2008. From this new unit, DuPont will supply up to 45,400 tonnes/y to Allegheny Titanium’s new titanium sponge metal plant at Rowley in Toole County, Utah. Smaller quantities of titanium tetrachloride will also be available for sale to manufacturers of metallic and pearlescent pigments. Titanium tetrachloride is an intermediate produced during the manufacture of TiO2 pigment via the chloride process. The production and sale of up to 450,000 tonnes/y of TiO2 pigment will not be significantly affected by the launch of the titanium tetrachloride marketing campaign. TiO2 Worldwide Update, Nov/Dec 2006, 14 (6), 14

COMPANIES BASF, Ciba & DuPont in consortium for web-based colour-matching service A new website – http://www.matchmycolor.com – has been launched by a consortium of eight suppliers, with a view to serving product formulators in the paint, plastic, ink and cosmetic sectors with respect to prototyping, colour selection and determining colour feasibility. The suppliers in the consortium include: X-Rite (spectrophotometers); Gretag MacBeth (colour management tools and reference standards); Nelly Rodi TrendLabs (colour trend books); Ciba and BASF/Engelhard (organic pigments); DuPont (TiO2 pigments); MetalFX (metallic printing

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technology); and Carolina Color (masterbatches). Plastiques et Caoutchoucs Magazine, Dec 2006, (845), 28 (in French)

Clariant to reduce its global workforce by 10% Clariant has embarked on a major cost-cutting programme that will entail reducing its global workforce by about 10% between now and the end of 2009. This will means the loss of 2200 jobs. Clariant will close about 12 or 13 factories, mainly in Europe, reducing its total number of manufacturing locations to just over 115. The company will also rationalise its product portfolio, reducing the number of separate products on offer from 50,000 to 37,500. Net working capital as a percentage of sales revenue will be cut by 3-4%. The entire programme is expected to cost SFR 500 M, of which about 85% will be covered from operating cashflow, which is projected at SFR 600-800 M per annum. The target is to raise the return on invested capital from the current level of 8% to 10% by 2009. Even this would represent a fairly modest achievement, by comparison against ICI, Dow and BASF. Return on Invested Capital* 2005 ICI Dow BASF Rohm & Haas DSM Huntsman Ciba Clariant Rhodia Lanxess

20.0% 17.0% 16.0% 12.0% 9.0% 9.0% 8.5% 8.0% 7.5% 7.0%

* Before exceptional items & goodwill

Clariant is currently organised as four divisions: Textile, leather & paper chemicals; Pigments & additives; Functional chemicals; and Masterbatches. It sees its top-priority businesses as: chemicals for coatings and non-impact printing; masterbatches; oil services and refinery chemicals; and functional fluids. Product areas identified for “selective growth” comprise: construction chemicals; crop protection agents; sulfur dyes;

speciality intermediates; and chemicals and additives for metalworking, mining, personal care products and plastics. The least favoured group of products – those which will be maintained essentially as cash generators – include: biocides, detergents, printing inks, raw materials and textile dyes. Clariant will in future distinguish between product-driven businesses (eg detergents and printing inks) and service-driven businesses (eg masterbatches, paint additives and refinery chemicals). Mr Jan Secher (CEO) declared: “Our product-driven businesses need to be managed with an intense focus on efficiency, maintaining an extremely costcompetitive structure, while the service-driven businesses need to combine cost discipline with technology.” At present, Clariant’s sales revenue is derived 40% from product-driven businesses and 60% from service-driven businesses. Around 70% of the company’s future capital investment will be devoted to top-priority regions, notably: China, India, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and North America. These regions currently account for 25% of Clariant’s total sales revenue, but this proportion is projected to rise rapidly. Within the functional chemicals sector particularly, Clariant intends to install new capacity in India and China mainly in order to satisfy local demand. The group will increase its spending on research and development by about 10%, including a campaign to invest SFR 100 M in early-stage incubator projects, in alliances with small companies and universities. Recent examples of projects include: collaboration with the nanomaterials company, Starfire Systems (of Malta, NY) and collaboration with KiON (of Huntington Valley, PA) to develop polysilazane resins and composites for use in paint systems. There has already been some substantial restructuring. Clariant sold its pharmaceutical fine chemical business for SFR 110 M to TowerBrook Capital Partners in June 2006. Clariant’s accounts for full-year 2006 show an assets impairment charge of SFR 79 M on its custom chemical manufacturing business and a charge of SFR 100 M to recognise

MARCH 2007