2014 Plastics & Rubber News

SABIC and ExxonMobil Specialty Elastomers Project at Al-Jubail

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and affiliates of ExxonMobil are constructing a world-scale specialty elastomers facility at the Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company (Kemya) manufacturing joint venture. The facility will be integrated with the existing Jubail complex and is expected to be completed in 2015. The facility will have the capacity to produce up to 400,000 tonnes per year of rubber -- including halobutyl, styrene butadiene, polybutadiene, and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubbers -- thermoplastic specialty polymers, and carbon black to serve local markets, the Middle East and Asia.

Kemya is a 50-50 joint venture between SABIC and Exxon Chemical Arabia Inc., an affiliate of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. The two companies have collaborated closely since 1980 when they established the joint venture, which produces polyethylene, ethylene, and propylene. The new synthetic rubber project represents a significant broadening of Kemya’s product portfolio.

Source: ExxonMobil Press Release

Reichhold, Inc. Files for Voluntary Protection Under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code

Durham, North Carolina, September 30, 2014 – Reichhold, Inc. announced that it has filed for voluntary protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the District of Delaware. This action was taken to facilitate a restructuring of the debts of Reichhold, Inc. which represents only the U.S. portion of the global Reichhold organization.
The Company announced that it has arranged $ 130 million USD in financing from its bondholders to fund continuing operations, of which $100 million (subject to court approval) will be available to Reichhold, Inc. in the form of debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing.

About Reichold:
Reichold with its world headquarters and technology center in Durham, North Carolina, USA, is one of the world’s largest manufacturer of unsaturated polyester resins and a leading supplier of coating resins for the industrial, transportation, building and construction, marine, consumer and graphic arts markets.

Source: Reichold News, September 30, 2014

Sabic Signs Joint Venture Agreement with Korea's SK Global Chemical

SABIC and the Korean petrochemical company, SK Global Chemical, signed a 50-50 joint venture agreement in Seoul, South Korea, on May 26 2014 for a total investment of US$ 595 million to manufacture a range of high-performance polyethylene products using SK’s cutting edge Nexlene solution technology. The joint venture, is expected to operate a series of manufacturing plants, the first of which was recently completed by SK Global Chemical at its complex in Ulsan, South Korea, with an expected annual capacity of 230,000 tons. The plants will produce linear low density polyethylene, polyolefin plastomers and polyolefin elastomers that will meet the growing needs of diverse industries such as advanced packaging, automotive, healthcare, footwear and electrical and lighting. A second plant is planned for Saudi Arabia. Over time, production bases will be established worldwide. This joint venture challenges Dow Chemical, ExxonMobile, and Mitsui Chemoicals who dominated the the market for many years.

About SK Chemicals Co Ltd:
SK Chemicals Co., Ltd. is a Korea-based company mainly engaged in the manufacture and distribution of chemicals. The Company operates in four business divisions: green chemicals, life science, gas and other business divisions. Its chemical business division provides polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) resins, carbon fibers, polyester binders, water treatment chemicals, biodiesels, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resins among several other products.

Source: Sabic Press Release, 7 May 2014

Celanese Acquires Assets of Cool Polymers, Inc.

Celanese announced on October 20, 2014 the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Cool Polymers, Inc., based in North Kingstown, R.I. The acquisition will accelerate Celanese’s growth in the conductive polymers market by building on Cool Polymers’ strong product portfolio and technical capabilities.

About Cool Polymers:
Cool Polymers is a leading compounder of conductive polymers. The company’s technical capabilities in the LED (light-emitting diode) market will allow for immediate customer growth while continuing to advance Celanese’s engineered materials business across thermal management and electrical conductivity polymer applications.

Source: Celanes News, October 20, 2014

DuPont Sells DuPont™ Neoprene to Denka Performance Elastomer LLC

DuPont Performance Polymers and DENKA (Denki Kagaku Kogyo K.K.) signed a definitive agreement to sell DuPont™ Neoprene polychloroprene to Denka Performance Elastomer LLC, a new joint venture company owned 70 percent by DENKA and 30 percent by Mitsui (Mitsui & Co., Ltd. TSE:8031). The sale is expected to close in the first half of 2015 pending receipt of customary regulatory approvals. “Neoprene has been an important product line within DuPont Performance Polymers and we believe it will truly thrive as part of the Denka Performance Elastomer portfolio” said Patrick E. Lindner, president of DuPont Performance Polymers.

About DuPont Performance Polymers:
DuPont is a leading producer of Neoprene polychloroprene in North America through manufacturing operations at its Pontchartrain Works site in La Place, La. Approximately 235 employees in the United States will be included in the transaction.

Source: DuPont News, Dec. 10, 2014

Monentive Performance Materials Inc. Prepares To Emerge From Chapter 11

Momentive Performance Materials Inc., a global leader in the development and manufacture of silicones and products derived from quartz and specialty ceramics, announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York indicated at a hearing on August 26, 2014 that it will enter an order confirming the Company’s restructuring plan once certain modifications have been made to the plan. The key terms of the plan include a $600 million rights offering, which will provide a significant equity infusion to the company and 100% recovery to trade creditors and other general unsecured creditors. Upon emergence, Momentive will have eliminated approximately $3 billion of debt from its balance sheet, and will have liquidity of approximately $425 million and net debt of approximately $1.2 billion.

Source: Momentive News, August 27, 2014

Annotation:
On April 13, 2014, the company listed $2.69 billion in assets and $4.17 billion in debt in its Chapter 11 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York. Momentive Performance Materials Inc. filed for bankruptcy after struggling to make payments on debt dating to its 2006 buyout by Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management LLC.

Albemarle Corporation has acquired Rockwood Holdings

Albermarle acquires Rockwood Holdings Inc. for $6.2 billion in cash and stock transactions. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Rockwood becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albemarle. This acquisition will strengthen Albermale’s position as a top-tier specialty chemical producer.

About: Albermale
Albemarle Corporation, headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a major producer of specialty chemicals with a focus on processes for surface treatment of metals and plastics. They are also a major producer of catalysts used in the petroleum refining and plastic industry. The Company employs approximately 6,900 people and serves customers in approximately 100 countries.

Source: Albermale Press Release, July 15, 2014

Novolex To Acquire Packaging Dynamics Corporation

NOVOLEX and Packaging Dynamics Corporation announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby NOVOLEX will acquire Packaging Dynamics. The combined companies will operate under the NOVOLEX name and offer a broad and complementary range of paper and plastic flexible packaging products. The combined revenue will be about $1.9 billion and comprised of 35 manufacturing locations in North America with over 5,100 employees.

Source: Novolex News, November 10, 2014

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