Expansions: Ineos Styrolution starts ABS production in France; BASF expands its offering of PAs and PPAs in Europe

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Styrenics maker Ineos Styrolution has started up its ABS production in Wingles, France, having completed the conversion of an existing polystyrene (PS) line to the production of ABS. This move makes Wingles the company’s third ABS production site in Europe together with Antwerp, Belgium and Cologne, Germany.

The ABS production capacity in Wingles will be 50,000 tonnes/year, to help meet the increased demand for ABS in Europe in industries such as construction, compounding, household and automotive.

The sites in Antwerp, Belgium and Wingles, France address the production of Ineos Styrolution’s standard ABS solutions (Terluran and Lustran brands), while Cologne, Germany, is focused on the production of specialty ABS solutions (Novodur brand).

The new ABS production line adds to the portfolio produced in Wingles with the site continuing to produce polystyrene for industries including construction and packaging.

Dr. Alexander Glück, President EMEA, comments: “The new ABS plant in Wingles not only increases our overall ABS capacity in Europe, but it also allows us to provide new ABS solutions to respond to developing customer demand across a broader portfolio.”

BASF expands its offering of PAs and PPAs in Europe

In other news, German chemical firm BASF says it will start marketing several polyamide (PA) and polyphthalamide (PPA) grades in Europe that it acquired as part of the takeover of Solvay’s PA66 business. These engineering plastics, previously sold as Technyl, will continue at BASF under the established brand name Ultramid. The extensive plastics portfolio include both PA66 grades and Ultramid One J, a PPA based on PA66/6T, for E&E applications like connectors and circuit breakers, for consumer and household electronics, and for autonomous driving and emobility.

The European Commission granted BASF approval for the acquisition of Solvay’s polyamide business subject to certain conditions. As a result, BASF started to successfully sell the integrated engineering plastics in growth markets in Asia as well as North and South America. Now that the conditions have expired, BASF will bring these grades to Europe.

“We are now able to offer the additional polyamides and PPAs to our customers globally,” said Abdullah Shaikh, head of the global PPA team. “We are looking forward to working together on projects that will unlock the full potential of Ultramid One J for innovative E&E components. Because of its property profile this PPA is the ideal addition to our existing plastics portfolio, allowing us to offer the perfect PPA for a wide range of product requirements, including new ones.”

Ultramid One J will be integrated into the PPA portfolio that BASF has marketed under the brand name Ultramid Advanced since 2016. It closes the gap between BASF’s polyamide and PPA grades.

It is said to have “outstanding mechanical and dielectric properties in presence of humidity and at elevated temperatures, while its low water absorption ensures good dimensional stability”.

Ultramid One J expands the range of component colours and designs, as it can be coloured in different white shades, in addition to orange and grey. As well, the high flowability makes it ideal for manufacturing small and complex components with electrical protection. The available UL cards show outstanding RTI and GWIT values. The flame retardant used is non-halogenated.

BASF and Solvay signed an agreement on the acquisition of Solvay’s integrated polyamide business in September 2017. The European Commission approved the acquisition in January 2019 under certain conditions, including the sale of Solvay’s PA66 production plants in Europe.

BASF concluded the acquisition of the PA business on January 31, 2020. Because of the backward integration for the key raw material adiponitrile (ADN), BASF now covers the entire value chain for PA66 and improves its supply reliability. The business has been integrated into BASF’s Performance Materials and Monomers divisions.


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