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News Briefs—Dec. 8, 2008

Slovakian polyolefins producer Slovnaft Petrochemicals is taking a license for LyondellBasell’s Lupotech T low-density polyethylene (LDPE) technology for a plant it plans to build in Bratislava, Slovak Republic. The 220,000 tonnes/yr capacity facility is scheduled to start up in 2012. Slovnaft is a subsidiary of the MOL Group, Budapest, Hungary.

Slovakian polyolefins producer Slovnaft Petrochemicals is taking a license for LyondellBasell’s Lupotech T low-density polyethylene (LDPE) technology for a plant it plans to build in Bratislava, Slovak Republic. The 220,000 tonnes/yr capacity facility is scheduled to start up in 2012. Slovnaft is a subsidiary of the MOL Group, Budapest, Hungary. Just Jansz, president of LyondellBasell’s technology business, says this latest license is the fourth granted to the MOL Group and the 17th high-pressure tubular LDPE license sold since 2000.

Specialty chemicals group ALTANA (Wesel, Germany) is buying Dick Peters BV, a Dutch manufacturer of wax additives for about euro 17.5 million. Through its BYK Additives & Instruments’ division, ALTANA says it will acquire the major part of the wax additives business with annual sales of about euro 20 million. ALTANA takes over the production site in Denekamp, Netherlands with a staff of 35.

Comat Composite Materials (Kaiserslautern, Germany) has developed what it says is the first compressed-air tank made of plastics for truck trailers. Developed for Schmitz Cargobull, which claims to be Europe’s largest manufacturer of trailers for commercial vehicles, the vessel, produced of Ultramid nylon 6 from BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany), offers a 10 kg weight reduction compared to previously used metal. The reservoir measures 1.2m long, has a diameter of 32 cm, and holds 80 liters. It supplies compressed-air for air-suspension systems and brakes. The unit is wound with nylon 6-impregnated continuous glass fibers. Two nylon 6 injection molded caps are affixed to the ends.

One positive note in the plastics sector comes from Germany’s PVC interests group, Arbeitsgemeinschaft PVC and Umwelt (www.agpu.com; Bonn). Since the middle of the 1990s, demand for vinyl has increased by about 40% in the country. Germany also is the largest user of the polymer in Europe with 26%, followed by Italy with 14%, and the U.K. with 11%. Germany’s PVC sector employed 100,000 last year and had sales of about euro 14 billion.

Duane Smith, product manager of specialty winding at processing equipment maker Davis-Standard Converting Systems (Fulton, NY) has received both the TAPPI PLACE Division Technical Award and the $1000 Rohm & Haas Prize at the annual TAPPI conference in Portsmouth, VA. TAPPI is an association representing global pulp, paper, packaging, and converting industries. Smith  is also the author of the technical article on winding technology in MPW’s annual World Encyclopedia. The TAPPI award recognizes outstanding accomplishments that have advanced the industry’s technology.

Winfried Batzke, director of the German Packaging Institute (DVI, Berlin), reports his members indicate the present financial crisis has not yet had a significant impact. Where the crisis is being felt is in technical packaging and also available capital for investments in packaging equipment, Batzke says. However, the DVI sees dark clouds for 2009. Areas that should continue to grow are niche products and new markets.

On the eve of its 30th year in business, conveying industry components supplier Lorenz & Son is changing its name to Lorenz Conveying (Cobourg, ON). The company supplies couplings, elbows, fittings, diverter valves, and gates for the conveying industry, and in addition to the name change, has recently expanded its business and machinery footprint.

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