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Tnemec Expands R&D Facility for Protective Coatings, Dow Grabs Edison Award for its BPA-free Can Coating, PPG Raises Bid to Merge Business with AkzoNobel

SpecialChem / Mark Drukenbrod – May 2, 2017

Hello and welcome to your early week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. In industry news since last issue, WACKER is building a new reactor for the manufacture of IPA and Coim announced the acquisition of all Darwink srl’s, shares. Johnson Matthey opened a new Center for Coatings and Surface Solutions in the US and researchers found a method to convert algal residue into industrial chemicals. There’s much more where we continue and as always, you can go to the above items now using the links, or checkout our latest stories, which we’ll get to right away...

Tnemec Expands R&D Facility for Protective Coatings

Tnemec, one of the leading manufacturers of protective coatings and linings, opened the doors of its new research and development facility. This expansion of the company’s current manufacturing plant in North Kansas City, Missouri, includes an upgrade that doubles the size of its previous R&D laboratory and office space while making notable improvements to its testing and ventilation equipment. “Tnemec Company has always been dedicated to researching and developing innovative technologies to protect our customers in corrosive environments,” explained Remi Briand, Vice President – R&D for Tnemec. “This expansion and renovation represents the next phase of this commitment.” Upgrades in the facility include a new chemical immersion room allows Tnemec’s R&D team to conduct more expansive performance testing, including in-house autoclave tests and severe wastewater analysis testing (S.W.A.T.) and several updated fume hoods to handle tougher testing protocols.

Dow Grabs Edison Award for its BPA-free Can Coating

Two innovative products from The Dow Chemical Company have recently received 2017 Edison Awards. The Edison Awards honor excellence in new product and service development, marketing, human-centered design, and innovation. A silver Edison Award went to Dow’s ACCUTRACE™ S10 Molecular Fuel Marker used to combat fuel tax evasion. Dow’s CANVERA™ Polyolefin Dispersions for metal can coating received a bronze award. “With a seat at our customers’ design table, we continue to bring forward breakthrough innovations that solve complex problems and serve the market,” said A.N. Sreeram, senior vice president, R&D, and chief technology officer for Dow. “Edison was a prolific inventor whose success is linked in part to his business sense and understanding of societal needs. For Dow, we continue to see the greatest success in delivering products that are meeting customer needs and solving the world’s most pressing challenges. We are grateful for this recognition of our market-disrupting products.”

PPG Raises Bid to Merge Business with AkzoNobel

PPG has announced that it submitted a revised proposal for a combination with AkzoNobel. The comprehensive proposal letter, which was provided to Messrs. Antony Burgmans, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Ton Büchner, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Management, detailed PPG’s increased price of Eur 96.75 (cum dividend) per outstanding ordinary share of AkzoNobel, comprised of cash of Eur 61.50 and 0.357 shares of PPG common stock. Including the assumption of net debt and minority interests, the proposed transaction is now valued at approximately Eur 26.9 billion, or $28.8 billion. In the letter, PPG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael McGarry said, “We are extending this one last invitation to you and the AkzoNobel boards to reconsider your stance and to engage with us on creating extraordinary value and benefits for all of AkzoNobel’s stakeholders.”

WACKER Constructs Reactor for IPA, a Building Block for Automotive Coatings

WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS, the life sciences and biotechnology division of the WACKER Group, is strengthening its integrated ketene production at its Burghausen site in Germany. The Munich-based chemical company is building a further reactor for the manufacture of isopropenyl acetate (IPA) with an annual capacity of 2,500 metric tons. IPA is an important starting material for acetylacetone (AcAc), which is used in numerous applications, ranging from life sciences products through to construction and automotive applications. Capital expenditures of almost €2 million are budgeted for the capacity increase. Completion of the plant is scheduled for the second half of 2017. In addition, WACKER is taking over the sales and distribution of the fine chemical calcium acetylacetonate from Acetonate GmbH as of April. This derivative of AcAc will round out the existing integrated ketene production system in Burghausen.

“The new IPA reactor is an important step toward strengthening our integrated ketene production system in Burghausen,” says WACKER Board Member Auguste Willems. “The expansion is part of our strategy of raising the proportion of specialties in our business as a whole to boost growth and profitability. This measure, together with the sales and distribution partnership we have entered into with Acetonate GmbH, will strengthen our position as a leading manufacturer of fine chemicals across a wide variety of sectors – from pharmaceutical products through to industrial applications in the plastics sector.”

The new plant is a key addition to the Burghausen site’s supply chain. In the integrated production system, acetic acid is converted first into ketene, then into isopropenyl acetate and finally to acetylacetone. Both IPA and AcAc serve as building blocks for syntheses in numerous branches of industry, from pharmaceutical active ingredients through to specialty automotive coatings. Additionally, AcAc is a starting material for further products in the WACKER portfolio.

To further strengthen the integrated production system and the degree of forward integration, WACKER is also, as of April, taking over distribution of calcium acetylacetonate (Ca-AcAc), a fine chemical made by Acetonate GmbH in Greiz, eastern Germany. Acetonate GmbH will continue to produce Ca-AcAc on behalf of WACKER, but with WACKER taking charge of sales and distribution of the entire annual production volume of around 900 metric tons.

“This strategic cooperation will enable us to offer even greater security of supply, in addition to excellent product quality, for our customers, especially those in Europe, because we now cover the entire supply chain for calcium acetylacetonate,” says Gerhard Schmid, divisional president of WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS, describing the collaboration.

Coim Acquires Darwink, a Manufacturer of Flexographic & Rotogravure Inks

Coim has announced that it is continuing its expansion in flexible packaging world through the acquisition of all Darwink srl’s, shares, an Italian company specialized in the production of flexographic and rotogravure inks for flexible packaging.

Subsequent to the purchase, the company, which will be totally controlled by Coim Group, will acquire the new name of Darwinks.

This acquisition represents an exciting integration project for Novacote business line, ensuring the opportunity for development in Ink Media sector, consolidating its presence, and continuing to serve, support and increase its customers, in the flexible packaging industry.

Coim boasts a network of almost 900 people responsible for providing the high quality services and products one would expect from a well-established and prestigious company. The flexibility, capability and efficiency of its structure are achieved through the close partnership and collaboration with its clients.

Darwink was founded in 2010 by a management team highly experienced in the field of inks. It is a qualified and important Italian manufacturer of liquid printing inks.

PPG Celebrates 50th Anniversary of DURANAR Coatings in 2017

PPG announced that it is celebrating the 50th anniversary of DURANAR® coatings throughout 2017, commemorating the introduction in 1967 of one of the industry’s first high-performance polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) coatings for metal building components.

Over the past half-century, Duranar coatings have been specified by renowned architects to protect and enhance some of the world’s most recognized architectural landmarks, such as the Empire State Building in New York, the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, Shanghai World Financial Center in China, Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

PPG has continually refined Duranar coatings since their introduction to meet evolving aesthetic, performance and sustainability demands of architects and buildings owners. Significant advances have included adding metallic flakes and other effects for expanded appearance options; incorporating ULTRA-COOL® infrared-reflective pigments to help reduce building-cooling loads; and formulating Duranar powder coatings, which earned PPG a prestigious R&D 100 Award recognizing the coatings’ ability to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and economize production of custom-colored powder coatings.

Brian Knapp, PPG director, coil and building products, said Duranar coatings have been popular with generations of architects and building owners for their ideal blend of aesthetics, reliability and performance. “Duranar coatings can be formulated to provide an extensive range of colors and effects, giving architects a virtually unlimited design palette,” he said. “They also feature unique chemistry developed and refined by PPG that has delivered decades of color retention and chalk and chemical resistance, even in the most challenging seacoast and industrial environments.”

Duranar coatings are formulated with proprietary PPG resins and pigments in combination with standard KYNAR 500® or HYLAR® 5000 PVDF resins. In fact, PPG helped popularize and improve PVDF coatings technology by becoming one of the first companies to license Kynar 500 resin, which was originally commercialized by Pennwalt Corp. in the mid-1960s. PPG remains the only original and continuous licensee of this PVDF resin, which has become an industry standard.

As part of the anniversary celebration, PPG will highlight Duranar coatings in trade-show displays throughout the year, offering special customer promotions and giveaways. PPG also will introduce a dedicated web portal featuring images and descriptions of landmark buildings finished with Duranar coatings, as well as articles, white papers and other educational materials.

BASF Sales and Earnings Considerably Above Prior Q1

BASF completed the first quarter of 2017 with a considerable rise in sales and earnings compared to the same quarter of last year. “BASF has had a good start to the year 2017,” said Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. “The demand trends we observed over the course of 2016 continued in the first quarter of this year.”

BASF Group’s sales rose by 19% in the first quarter of 2017 to €16.9 billion. In all segments, the positive volume trend seen in previous quarters was maintained and led to growth of 8% in sales volumes. Furthermore, BASF achieved significantly higher sales prices (up 8%), especially in the Chemicals segment. Currency effects and the Chemetall business acquired from Albemarle in December 2016 also contributed to the increase in sales.

BASF Group’s income from operations (EBIT) before special items was 29% higher at €2.5 billion. Of this amount, €2.0 billion was generated by the chemicals business, which comprises the segments Chemicals, Performance Products and Functional Materials & Solutions. Earnings in the chemicals business thus grew by 37%.

BASF received an initial insurance payment of €100 million in connection with the accident that occurred at the North Harbor in Ludwigshafen last October. Around three-quarters of this amount was recognized in the Chemicals segment.

EBIT grew by €585 million to €2.5 billion compared with the first quarter of 2016.

Net income rose by €322 million to €1.7 billion. Earnings per share were €1.86 in the first quarter of 2017, compared with €1.51 in the same quarter of 2016. Adjusted for special items and amortization of intangible assets, earnings per share amounted to €1.97 (first quarter of 2016: €1.64).

In North America, sales improved year-on-year by 13% in local currency terms and 16% in euros. The main drivers were higher sales prices and volumes, especially in the Chemicals segment. The greater contribution from the Chemicals segment led to a €69 million increase in income from operations, to €513 million.

“In North America, we remain committed to profitable growth fueled by innovation, promising market segments and cross-business initiatives,” said Wayne T. Smith, Chairman and CEO, BASF Corporation. “We are enhancing our operational excellence through continuous improvement, and investments such as expansion of our production capacities for dicamba and dimethenamid-P herbicides in Beaumont, Texas, form the basis for future growth.”

BASF’s expectations for the global economic environment in 2017 remain unchanged.

“We remain cautious when it comes to our outlook for the full year. We still see considerable risks with regard to macroeconomic development and the political environment,” said Bock. “We confirm our 2017 forecast for BASF Group sales and earnings. We expect considerable sales growth for the BASF Group in 2017. According to our definition, that equates to an increase of at least 6% in sales. We want to achieve slightly higher EBIT before special items compared with 2016. In this case, ‘slight’ means a change of 1-10%; we expect the increase will be toward the top end of that range.”

In the Chemicals segment, sales rose by 36% compared with the previous first quarter to €4.1 billion, largely as a result of higher prices in the Petrochemicals and Monomers divisions. Sales were furthermore supported by the higher level of sales volumes in all divisions. Currency effects slightly boosted sales. Due to higher margins and volumes, EBIT before special items grew by €501 million compared with the first quarter of 2016 and reached €958 million. The negative impact on earnings in the first quarter of 2017 caused by the accident at the North Harbor of the Ludwigshafen site was offset by an initial insurance payment for the damages occurring in the fourth quarter of 2016. Fixed costs were up year-on-year, due primarily to the startup of new plants.

Sales in the Performance Products segment grew by 9% versus the first quarter of 2016 and amounted to €4.3 billion. This was mainly the result of increased volumes in the Dispersions & Pigments, Care Chemicals and Performance Chemicals divisions. The segment experienced positive currency effects in all divisions and slightly raised sales prices overall. Portfolio effects dampened sales development. EBIT before special items declined by €40 million compared with the solid level of the previous first quarter due to lower margins and higher fixed costs and came in at €515 million.

In the Functional Materials & Solutions segment, sales grew by 18% year-on-year at €5.2 billion. This was predominantly the result of a sharp rise in sales volumes, primarily driven by higher demand from the automotive industry. Sales development was also supported by the Chemetall business acquired from Albemarle in December 2016, along with slight price increases and currency effects. Compared with the previous first quarter, EBIT before special items rose by €75 million to reach €531 million, thanks in particular to the volume growth and the Chemetall acquisition.

Opel Grants Approval to Three Axalta Coating Systems Global Refinish Brands in Belgium and Luxembourg

Cromax®, Spies Hecker® and Standox®, the three global premium refinish brands of Axalta Coating Systems have been approved for use in all Opel dealers and body shops in Belgium and Luxembourg. The technical and commercial approval comes after intensive and thorough tests were conducted by the car manufacturer to ensure all three refinish systems meet Opel’s stringent requirements.

"In addition to the outstanding and individual refinish systems all three brands can provide, what was crucial to us was the added value that Axalta itself brings to the table. Our Opel dealers and body shops in Belgium and Luxembourg can now receive comprehensive technical support and management training, which will certainly be an advantage for us going forward," says Nikita van Staveren, Channel Manager Accessory & Local Programs for Opel Belux.

Stefan Van Geert, Axalta’s Business Development Manager for Refinish in Belux, says: "This new agreement strengthens our relationship with Opel. Cromax, Spies Hecker and Standox share common goals of innovation and continuous improvement, while their respective products and services can help to deliver more efficient body shops and ultimately more satisfied vehicle owners."

DSM Introduces High-performance Anti-soiling Coating for Solar Cover Glass

DSM recently unveiled its new Anti-Soiling (AS) coating for Photovoltaic (PV) solar glass. The new coating provides a unique combination of anti-soiling and anti-reflective properties, and is aimed specifically at PV modules in dry, desert-like climates. It delivers a performance win-win for the growing number of solar parks by securing highest module output, while simultaneously boosting electricity output further by reducing soiling losses from dust and dirt – traditionally a major challenge in arid conditions. DSM’s Anti-Soiling coating brings direct performance improvements and indirect maintenance savings, boosting the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of PV solar projects.

While solar energy has become a key part of the global energy mix over the past decade, more work is needed for it to increasingly become a global and financially viable alternative to fossil fuels – which essentially means reducing the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of solar PV. The new AS coating aims to achieve this by boosting module output in the field; building on the success of DSM’s industry-leading Anti-Reflective coatings - which already deliver a 3% energy gain in flash tests.

Jan Grimberg, Global Business Director DSM Advanced Solar, said: “In extensive testing at the TÜV SÜD desert test site in Dunhuang in China, we have shown that this new Anti-Soiling coating consistently outperforms our own industry leading Anti-Reflective coating in terms of power – each month more than 1% extra on average. The actual performance at the customer will depend on local conditions, including the type of soiling and climate conditions. We are convinced that by using this coating, the financial performance of PV parks in arid climates, the internal rate of return (the IRR) can be improved by the combination of higher energy output due to less soiling losses and reduced cleaning costs.”

The new AS coating is based on DSM’s proprietary core-shell sol-gel technology, which provides a high transmission gain. The coating composition has been modified to minimize dust adhesion while optimizing dust removal. The product has been extensively tested by DSM, various leading institutes and module manufacturers, both in the lab and in outdoor test locations all over the world. DSM is now scaling up the AS coating to production size and the product is available for pilot scale testing. DSM is working with the world’s leading PV solar glass manufacturer Flat Glass Group, based in Jiaxing City, Zhejiang, China, to supply DSM Anti-Soiling coated PV glass to modules manufacturers.

Edwin Zhao, General Manager of FGG Solar PV Glass said: “Over the last 20 years Flat has become a large-sized glass manufacturer with total assets of more than 4 billion Yuan and integrated research and development, manufacturing and processing facilities of glass. DSM and Flat have been cooperation partners for several years now and we worked closely on a variety of new product and new technology development activities. We are extremely proud to bring for the first time to the market solar modules coated with the innovative DSM Anti-Soiling coating, fulfilling an unmet need of our customers, who want to reduce the soiling rates and number of cleaning cycles, want easier and faster cleaning with less consumables such as scarce water, and lower residual soiling after cleaning.”

Berger Paints to Market Rock Paint’s Auto Refinish Paints of in India

Kolkata-based Berger Paints India has signed an agreement with Japan's Rock Paint Co Ltd to market automotive refinish paints manufactured by Rock Paint in India. The products will be launched next month.

While Berger Paints is already present in all areas of automotive coatings in India, Rock Paint offers a wide range of high-quality, easy-to-use coatings suited to the diverse needs of today's auto-refinish market.

With the rise in greenfield as well as brownfield projects in automotive sector, the demand for automotive paints in the country is expected to witness robust growth. Although the OEM coatings segment accounts for 75 percent of the total market share in terms of volume, the refinish coatings segment is expected to witness higher growth rates. This is the opportunity that Berger Paints and Rock Paint aim to tap through this cooperative agreement.

“Both the companies are optimistic that the superior automotive refinish paints will have considerable demand in the Rs 20,000 crore automotive refinish market in India. The companies may discuss establishment of a joint venture in India at a later date,” said Berger Paints in a press release.

In the last few months, Berger Paints has been consolidating its industrial paints business with a series of tie-ups. Recently, the company joined hands with Chugoku Marine Paints Ltd (CMP) of Japan for cooperation and collaboration in the field of marine and related industrial paints in India.

Axalta to Dedicate “Americas Technology Center” for Coatings Development at Michigan Facility

Axalta Coating Systems will hold a grand opening event of its Americas Technology Center (ATC) May 2, 2017, at 1 p.m., during a ceremony inside its Mount Clemens, Michigan, manufacturing and research facility.

The ATC project was an 18-month endeavor that transformed and expanded existing laboratory space and spray facilities. At the ATC, Axalta scientists, chemists and engineers will develop tailored coatings products to meet specific customer needs for Axalta’s full line of product offerings for light vehicle, commercial vehicle, refinish and industrial applications throughout the Americas. Previously, work done at the facility was exclusive to the light vehicle segment.

Scheduled to take part in the ceremony from Axalta are Barry Snyder, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer; Steve Markevich, Executive Vice President and President, Transportation and Greater China; and Mike Carr, Vice President and President, North America.

Sudarshan Chemicals Revamps R&D Facility

Indian pigment maker Sudarshan Chemicals said that it has revamped its research and development center, and application center in Pune at a cost of Rs 50 crore. The company expects that the investment will help achieve its vision of being among the top 4 organic pigment players globally.

The upgraded infrastructure is described as game-changing. Analytical equipment and world-class laboratories have been installed keeping in mind the long-term needs that we foresee to support our new product development focus," said Rajesh Rathi, deputy managing director, Sudarshan Chemicals.

The company said that the technology center, situated 25 km from Sudarshan's head office in Pune at Ambadwet, houses over 80 technologists, PhDs, and industry experts on pigment synthesis in the fields of coatings, plastics, printing inks & cosmetics.

The center was recently inaugurated by renowned scientist Raghunath Mashelkar, Abul Iqbal, a pigment industry expert and Sunil Ramanand, Joint Commissioner of Police, Pune.

"Key investments in the center include state-of-the-art analytical equipment to study pigments at their constituent levels allowing for a more sophisticated modification of their crystal structure. The upgrade has also elevated the safety and environmental standards of the lab to a world-class level," the company said.

EPA Extends Comment Deadline on Proposed Rule for Methylene Chloride & NMP

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended its comment deadline for stakeholders to submit comments on its proposed rule for methylene chloride and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) under the amended Section 6(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA delayed the comment deadline from April 19, 2017, to May 19, 2017.

Last month, ACA submitted several sets of comments to EPA addressing the agency’s proposed rules under the recently amended TSCA.

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, signed into law on June 22, 2016, mandates the agency to restrict chemicals already in commerce that pose unreasonable risks to public health and the environment.

Since January, EPA has released multiple proposed regulations that will impact how EPA evaluates chemicals used in the coatings industry. ACA has been actively developing coatings industry positions and comments on these important rulemakings. As these rules are finalized, ACA will provide compliance materials for the industry.

EPA’s Jan. 19 proposed rule aims, among other restrictions, to prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride for consumer and most types of commercial paint and coating removal. EPA also proposed similar restrictions for NMP, along with alternative proposals. Under the first approach proposed for NMP, EPA proposed to prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of NMP for all consumer and commercial paint and coating removal, with exemptions for certain coating removal uses that EPA proposes are critical to national security. EPA is also proposing to prohibit the commercial use of NMP for paint and coating removal, with exemptions for certain coating removal uses that EPA proposes are critical to national security. These exemptions include the condition that any exempt paint and coating removal products containing NMP be packaged in containers with a volume no less than five gallons

Unlike the option proposed for methylene chloride, these exemptions do not include the use of NMP in furniture refinishing. EPA is also proposing to require manufacturers (including importers), processors, and distributors, except for retailers, of NMP for any use to provide downstream notification of these prohibitions throughout the supply chain, and to require limited recordkeeping. Under the second approach proposed for NMP, EPA is proposing a reformulation, personal protective equipment (PPE), and labeling approach. This would require the following: Product reformulation to limit the concentration of NMP in paint and coating removal products, Testing of product formulations to identify specialized gloves that provide protection, Relabeling of products to provide additional information to consumers, An occupational dermal and respiratory protection program for commercial use of NMP in paint and coating removal, downstream notification when distributing NMP for other uses, and limited recordkeeping

Under this approach, no exemption is proposed for coating removal identified as critical for national security because paint and coating removal products containing NMP would continue to be available for these national security uses under this option, even without establishing a national security exemption.

ACA will remain engaged in the development and implementation of regulations under the amended TSCA, working on behalf of its members.

In other news, two innovative products from Dow have recently received 2017 Edison Awards. Dow’s CANVERA™ Polyolefin Dispersions for metal can coating received a bronze award. CANVERA™ uses Dow’s patented...more about this

MIT have received funding from Exelon Generation to support research which could transform the performance of the fuel cladding in light water reactors (LWRs). The MIT team will work with Exelon...more about this

Arkema has successfully brought on stream new Kynar® PVDF capacities on its Changshu platform near Shanghai. With this 25% increase in its production capacities in China, Arkema, has consolidated...more about this

And finally, The carbon black market is projected to reach USD 13.79 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 4.6% between 2016 and 2021, predicts MarketsandMarkets. Inks & coatings market drives the carbon black market...more about this


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