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10 YEARS OF COMPOUNDING WORLD | SPECIAL FEATURE


operation); Braskem bought Dow’s US and Euro- pean PP business; PolyOne bought liquid colorant maker Colormatrix; Mexichem acquired Alphagary; and Italian compounder So.f.Ter snapped up PGroup. Meanwhile, the then number two player in carbon black, Evonik, sold its carbon black plants; Klesch Group acquired Arkema’s PVC business; and BASF and Ineos gained regulatory clearance to set up Styrolution. With AMI data showing the market for polymer compounds in Asia and China had grown by 7% in 2010 it was no surprise the region was attracting investment. China XD plastics upped its capacity to 250,000 tonnes; Ticona doubled its LFT capacity; BASF and SABIC expanded their existing com- pounding operations there; and Elasto announced its first production plans for the country. Elsewhere, DSM announced plans to compound in Russia; Americhem, Alliance Polymers & Services, Foster Corp and Lanxess were expanding in the US; Penn Color opened a masterbatch plant at Venray in the Netherlands; and Johns Manville announced plans to rebuild its E-glass furnace at Trnava in Solvakia to meet growing polymer industry demand. The year also saw pressure mounting on


phthalate plasticisers. The European Commission put six phthalates, including DEHP, DBP and BBP, on its REACH list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). Eastman said it would end production of DEP and DBP phthalate plasticisers from the end of 2011 and BASF doubled capacity for its Hexamoll DINCH non-phthalate plasticiser.


2012


As 2012 unfolded, concerns were growing that the global recovery may falter as many countries implemented austerity drives. The compounding industry’s response was strategic investments and disposals designed to focus portfolios, maximise scale and improve their positions in growing markets. Key compounding investments in 2012 included Lanxess opening its first engineering plastics compounding plant in the US; SABIC adding capacity for its Stamax LFTs at Genk in Belgium; Mitsui and Prime Polymer investing in PP compounding lines in the US, Mexico and China; and Grand Siam adding 18,000 tonnes of PP compounding capacity at Rayong in Thailand. Portfolio moves included A Schulman buying the


French Elian masterbatch operation and US-based ECM Plastics; RTP Company acquiring Clariant’s electrically conductive compounds business; PolyOne acquiring Spartech; Washington Penn State opening a compounding operation in Slovakia; and Albis Plastic investing in its first


www.compoundingworld.com ces #fireresistance


compounding capabilities in China. Meanwhile, on the supply side, Huber bought the Almatic flame retardants business; PMC Group acquired Arkema’s PVC stabilisers activities; and Cytec opened a UV stabilisers facility in China. Some of the compounding industry’s big equipment names were also in the M&A headlines. Coperion was acquired by the US-based Hillen- brand Group (already owner of K-Tron) for €408m; KraussMaffei was sold to Canadian PE group Onex for €568m; and Maag Group was acquired by the US-based Dover Corporation. In the US, the NPE plastics fair was held in Florida for the first time. Worries that the exhibition would suffer from the move from Chicago after 40 years proved unfounded but leaving a trade show to return to hotels full of holiday makers and Disney enthusiasts proved a strange experience. Pressure also continued to grow on the flame


retardants sector. Following the European Commis- sion’s move the previous year to add HBCD to the REACH SVHC candidate list, studies were published in both the US and Europe highlighting its pervasive nature.


2013 Portfolio adjustments carried over into 2013. Dow sold its stabilisers business to PMC Group, which had bought Arkema’s stabilisers operations in 2012; BASF announced job cuts in its additives and pigments operations; Solvay and Ineos announced a merger of their chlorvinyl activities: PolyOne revealed plans to close six of the 30 Spartech sites it acquired the previous year; Chemtura sold its antioxidants and UV stabilisers business to SK Capital; and Turkey’s Oyak Group acquired the Chemson polymer additives activities. In the US, Americhem bought Infinity Com- pounding; Lehmann&Voss ended its JV with


December 2018 | COMPOUNDING WORLD 55


Above: A fatal fire at Evonik’s Marl Chemical Park in Germany in March disrupted PA12 supply for most of 2012


2012


2013


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