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Solvay sells PP compounding business to Basell

November 28, 2007

2 Min Read
Solvay sells PP compounding business to Basell

Polyolefin power Basell (Hoofddorp, Netherlands) has reinforced its North American polypropylene (PP) compounding presence with the acquisition of Solvay Engineered Polymers (SEP; Mansfield, TX), a division of Belgian conglomerate, The Solvay Group (Brussels), which continues to shift its polymer emphasis towards its Advanced Polymers unit and high-performance materials. In 2001, SEP sold off its PP-production capabilities to BP, so that for the last six years it focused solely on PP compounding for markets like automotive, with manufacturing in Mansfield and Grand Prairie, TX, in addition to an automotive applications center in Auburn Hills, MI. SEP also has offices in Canada, Mexico, Germany, and China. The business will be rolled into Basell’s Polymer-based Composite Materials and Alloys (PCMA) unit in North America.

SEP’s material portfolio focuses on the automotive market and includes Dexflex thermoplastic polyolefins (TPO), Indure engineered polyolefins, and Sequel engineered polyolefins, with grades available for injection molding, thermoforming, and sheet and profile extrusion for interior and exterior applications. Not mentioned in the announcement’s press release is SEP’s NexPrene thermoplastic vulcanizates, but according to a SEP spokesperson, TPVs will also go over to Basell.

Basell’s advanced polyolefin production in North America is located in Jackson, TN, which handles compounding; with production in Lake Charles, LA and Bayport, TX. Sales offices are in Wilmington, DE and Lansing, MI. Basell supplies Hifax, Hostacom, Moplen, and Softell PPs for automotive, with those copolymer and homopolymer materials coming in filled and unfilled states for applications that extend from vehicle interiors to exteriors.

According to Solvay, SEP’s annual sales make up less 2% of the turnover for the entire group, which through the first nine months of 2007 were 7.206 billion euros. Plastics had the largest share of that figure, coming in ahead of chemicals and pharmaceuticals with 2.983 billion euros in revenue through September 2007.

On Nov. 20, Basell and Lyondell shareholders voted to accept a merger of the polymer and chemical giants that was proposed initially on July 16. The new business will be called LyondellBasell Industries (see e-Weekly Nov. 8 for the initial report).—[email protected]

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