Bayer Sells Its Share of Exatec
Bayer MaterialScience AG in Germany agreed to sell its 50% share in Exatec LLC, Wixom, Mich., to its joint-venture partner, GE Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., just prior to the sale of GE plastics to SABIC of Saudi Arabia. Exatec was created to develop coating technologies for polycarbonate auto glazing. Exatec is now a wholly owned subsidiary of SABIC Innovative Plastics. For More Information visit Bayer MaterialScience AG's PT Online Showroom.
Indorama Picks Site For New PET Plant
Decatur, Ala., will be the location of the 950-million-lb PET plant to be built by Indorama Group of Indonesia. Due on stream in late 2008, the plant will be operated by AlphaPet, Inc., a new subsidiary of Indorama Polymers, Thailand. Together with Indorama’s StarPet Inc. subsidiary in Asheboro, N.C., Indorama will have North American PET capacity of 1.43-billion lb/yr. Indorama foresees a looming PET shortage in 2009.
PlastiComp Expands LFT Pellet Capacity
Increasing customer demand for Complet long-fiber thermoplastic (LFT) pellets has prompted PlastiComp LLC, Winona, Minn., to plan installation of a new production line capable of 3 million to 5 million lb/yr. The firm is also preparing a new plant site in the Winona area for occupancy next year. For More Information visit PlastiComp LLC's PT Online Showroom.
Wind Blade Production Surges
Last year, 2400 MW of wind-power generating capacity were installed in the U.S., up by at least one-third since 2003. That amount is due to soar another 25% this year, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Washington, D.C. That build-up is responsible for gust of expansion projects in manufacturing composite wind blades in North America, including the following:
LM Glasfiber, Inc., , completed its fourth expansion at Grand Forks, N.D., in March, nearly doubling the size of the 175,000-sq-ft plant. The expansion enables the plant to maker longer blades—up to 25 meters from a previous maximum of 19.1 meters at that plant. The Danish-based company announced in July that it will build another blade plant in Little Rock, Ark., by early next year. It will equal the combined capacity of LM Glasfiber’s two North American plants in Grand Forks and Gaspe, Que. (the latter opened in 2006).
Another major Danish producer, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, announced in June its plans for a first North American blade plant in Windsor, Colo. It is due to open early next year, with capacity for around 1200 blades/yr.
In March, Knight & Carver, National City, Calif., opened a 26,000-sq-ft wind-blade plant in Howard, S.D.
German-based Siemens Power Generation, Inc. shipped the first wind blades from its new factory in Fort Madison, Iowa, in mid-August. Each blade was 148 ft long and weighed some 12 tons.
VienTek LLC, Warren, R.I., a joint venture of Japan’s Mitsubishi Power Systems and TPI Composites, Inc., Warren, R.I., plans to complete this month an expansion of its wind-blade plant in Juarez, Mexico, that will triple its capacity to 1200 MW/yr. For More Information visit AWEA's PT Online Showroom.
AGY Buys Glass Mat Plant from OC
Glass-fiber producer AGY, Aiken, S.C., has agreed to buy the continuous-filament mat (CFM) business and plant in Huntingdon, Pa., from Owens Corning, Toledo. CFM will be a new business for AGY. For More Information visit AGY's PT Online Showroom.
World’s Biggest PET Recycling Plant
What is billed as the world’s largest food-grade plastic bottle-to-bottle recycling plant is coming to Spartanburg, S.C. The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, is investing more than $60 million to build the plant with United Resource Recovery Corp. (URRC), based in Spartanburg. URRC has a patented process for food-grade PET bottle-to-bottle recycling.
The new plant is due to open in early 2008 and to be fully operational in 2009. It will have capacity to produce around 100 million lb/yr of food-grade recycled PET, enough for nearly 2 billion 20-oz single-serve Coke bottles.
Alastian Expands Online Portfolio
Alastian, the online business channel of Basell of the Netherlands (U.S. office in Elkton, Md.), has expanded its offerings to include more than 60 high-volume PP and PE grades. Alastian started in 2004 as an internet-based, “no-frills” business. It has more than 3000 customers in Europe and has been available in the U.S. since 2006.
Ube Machinery to Build Injection Presses in China
Ube Machinery Corp., Ltd. in Japan (U.S. office in Ann Arbor, Mich.) has formed a joint venture with Cosmos Machinery Ltd. in China to build large and medium-sized injection presses. The move was prompted by growing demand for large machines by China’s auto industry. Ube previously had licensed Cosmos to build certain models of Ube presses. Yuzuru Yamamoto, president of Ube Machinery Corp., said, “At present, the jointly manufactured machines are only sold in China. I believe that in the near future, plastic injection machines manufactured in our joint venture will be sold to USA, Southeast Asia, and all over the world.” For More Information visit Ube Machinery Corp., Ltd's PT Online Showroom.
Velsicol Adds Plasticizer Capacity
Velsicol Chemical Corp., Rosemont, Ill., will add 16 million lb of capacity at Chestertown, Md., before the end of the year. The expansion includes Benzoflex benzoate esters, Admex polymeric plasticizers, and Velate paint additives. For More Information visit Ube Machinery Corp., Ltd's PT Online Showroom.
Dow Adds Capacity in PUR Polyols & Epoxies
Dow Polyurethanes, Midland, Mich., plans to add 130 million lb/yr of specialty polyols capacity at Freeport, Texas, with start-up slated for early 2009. The additional capacity will support growing demand for low-amine-emissions Voranol Voractiv polyols, as well as customized system formulations. The added capacity will replace that of the Sarnia, Ont., plant that will be shuttered within the next 12 to 18 months, but will increase Dow’s specialty polyether polyol capability. Voractiv products are aimed at flexible foam and slabstock for bedding and furniture as well as automotive molded seating foams. The new capacity will also provide fully formulated products for rigid foams in appliances, coolers, refrigerated trucks, and fabricated panels. For More Information visit Ube Dow Polyurethanes' PT Online Showroom.
Meanwhile, Dow Epoxy, Midland, Mich., has signed definitive agreements to buy three epoxy systems formulators, UPPC AG in Germany and two others in the U.S. The latter are Poly-carb Inc., Solon, Ohio, and GNS Technologies, Roberta, Ga. They expand the geographic coverage of the Dow Epoxy Systems business unit, created earlier this year. For More Information visit Ube Dow Polyurethanes' PT Online Showroom.