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SPECIAL FEATURE | 10 YEARS OF COMPOUNDING WORLD


2018 The biggest compounding story of 2018 was LyondellBasell’s acquisition of A Schulman. It paid $2.25bn for the company, which had been weak- ened since its costly acquisition of Citadel Plastics back in 2016. The move created a global com- pounding group with a broad product slate and sales of more than $4.6bn. Other notable com- pounding acquisitions included Croda Internation- al buying Finnish inherently dissipative polymers maker IonPhasE; Celanese acquiring US-based Omni Plastics and India’s Next Polymers; Nexam Chemical buying Plasticolor Sweden; PolyOne buying Spanish specialty colorants firm IQAP and US LFT producer PlastiComp; and Ascend Perfor- mance Materials acquiring Brittania Techno Polymer to give it a wholly-owned compounding operation in Europe.


2018 also saw SABIC secure a stake in Clariant


after the failure of the 2017 Hunstman merger plans while Akzo Nobel sold off its specialty chemicals businesses (including carbon black). In the distribution sector IMCD bought Velox and Univar acquired Nexeo. Compounding plant investments included RTP


Company building a new facility in Poland; Albis investing €1m at Wipag in Germany; and Sirmax investing €30m in a new plant in Poland where it plans to make its first TPEs. In the US, Polymax Thermoplastic Elastomers and BPC Toll Com- pounding & Blending added more capacity while Turkish compounder Elastron started its first North American TPE production unit. After eight years of uninterrupted — and at times


high — growth, the first signs of a machinery investment slowdown began to emerge, according to some manufacturers. Not enough to halt growth but maybe sufficient to moderate it. Weakening


Keep up with the latest news


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comes on the back of some record numbers though; Euromap said European plastics machin- ery production was up by 7% in 2017 and reached €15.3bn. 2018’s compounding machinery moves saw


Maag Group add Ettlinger to its portfolio, Coperion begin production of its high end ZSK extruders in China for local customers, and CPM Extrusion Group doubling production capacity at its Ruiya Extrusion plant in China. And Buss launched its first new kneader compounding extruder model for 10 years — the Compeo. The EU also unveiled its Plastics Strategy and


The free conference sessions were a prime attraction at the Compounding World Expo in Germany in June. The event moves to the US for 2019


62 COMPOUNDING WORLD | December 2018


propsed bans on a variety of single-use plastic items — including plates, cutlery and straws. And 2018 saw some major brand names go bio. Kartell bought a stake in Italian bioplastics firm Bio-On; Lego started producing its first parts in bio-based PE from Braskem; and Ikea’s parent company Ingka Group announced an investment in Austrian recycling machinery maker Next Generation Group (NGR). In Sweden, Stora Enso started up “Europe’s largest wood fibre composite operation”. Invista joined Ascend Performance Materials with announced investments in capacity for PA66 feedstock adipontrile (ADN). However, with most of the new capacity coming on stream over the coming four years the impact on the current PA66 shortages seems limited. 2018 was another NPE year, with an estimated 56,000 visitors making their way to the Orlando Convention Center in the US. It also saw the launch of the first Compounding World Expo. More than 4,000 visitors attended the focused two-day compounding exhibition and conference in Essen in Germany in June; the event moves to Cleveland in the US for 2019. You can find out more and register for your free ticket HERE.


www.compoundingworld.com


2018


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