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SPECIAL FEATURE | 10 YEARS OF COMPOUNDING WORLD


Below: Eastman expanded its non-phthalate plasticiser capacity in 2011 with the acquisitions of Sterling and


Scandiflex


plastics producer Cool Polymers (since acquired by Celanese). China was also seeing heavy investment activity, too. Local compounders Kingfa Technology and ChinaXD Plastics both completed big Chinese capacity expansions, while 2018 also saw Lanxess up its compounding capacity by 50% and Akro-Plastic committed to a new production plant in the country. That year’s K show in Germany saw some significant technical introductions, with Coperion launching its 18Nm/cm3


torque ZSK MC18 line and Leistritz unveiling a 15Nm/cm3 machine ZSE Maxx


model. The show also marked the debut of Feddem, the former Decroupet twin screw machin- ery maker that had been acquired earlier by Akro-Plastic parent KD Feddersen. In the area of sustainability, the US EPA named phthalates and PBDE flame retardants as “chemicals of


concern”; Albermarle, Chemtura and ICL commit- ted to phasing out the production and sale of the flame retardant decaBDE by 2013; Baerlocher said its UK PVC stabilisers plant at Bury had become the first in Europe to convert to lead-free products; and BASF said it would end production of oxo-degra- dable additives to focus on its compostable Ecoflex and Ecovio products.


2011 Aside from its devastating human toll, the earth- quake and tsunami that hit Japan in March of 2011 had a global economic impact with a number of specialty chemicals operations — including a Merck pigments plant and a BASF unit producing Irganox and Irafos antioxidants — taken out of production. Evidence was also emerging, however, that that the global recession was coming to an end. Data from the German plastics machinery association VDMA, for example, forecast that 2011 sales would be 18% above 2010 levels at €5.8bn. Industry restructuring continued, however. Solvay paid €6.6bn for the Rhodia PA business; Lubrizol was sold to investment group Berkshire Hathaway (and acquired the Merquinsa TPU


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2011


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