2007-08

DOW ANNOUNCES PRICE INCREASES FOR GLUTARALDEHYDE

Chemical Online: August 2007 
Dow Biocides is announcing a price increase for both list and off list prices of its entire glutaraldehyde product portfolio of 10 cents per pound in North America and by 10 percent (10%) for the rest of the world. The price increase is effective August 1, 2007.
Global product trade names for glutaraldehyde from Dow Biocides include AQUCAR Water Treatment Microbiocides, GLUTEX Sanitizers, UCARCIDE Antimicrobial Preservatives, UCARSAN Sanitizers, UCONEXTM Antimicrobials, and ZOLDINETM glutaraldehyde products.
"Driven by the increasing costs of this highly regulated industry and continued upward cost pressures in the market, this price increase is necessary to enable continued reinvestment in the business,” said Nanette Hermsen, global marketing manager for Dow Biocides.
Glutaraldehyde is a biocide frequently used as a disinfectant and sterilizing agent in a wide variety of markets and applications including high level disinfection and animal biosecurity. It is one of the few biocides that meets the criteria to be called readily biodegradable (OECD 301A and 306 guidelines), and as a non-oxidizing agent, glutaraldehyde does not corrode metal surfaces like oxidizing agents such as household bleach.

HUNTSMAN AGREES TO BE ACQUIRED BY HEXION FOR $10.6 BN

European Chemical News: August 2007
Huntsman has announced a merger agreement with Hexion Specialty Chemicals, an Apollo Management company.
Huntsman authorized the delivery of a notice of termination of the Basell Agreement, along with the payment of the $200 million break-up fee required by the Basell Agreement. Hexion funded $100 million of the Basell break-up fee while Huntsman funded the remaining $100 million.
Peter R. Huntsman, president and CEO of Huntsman, said, "This is a very favourable outcome for our shareholders and one that reflects a confidence in our company of which our associates can be very proud. Hexion is an attractive candidate for a merger with Huntsman. We have complementary businesses and, together, will have an even stronger technology platform from which to serve our customers."
Jon M. Huntsman, founder and chairman of Huntsman, added: "I have invested much of my life in Huntsman and consider it the highest honor to be associated with such exceptional customers and associates. However, the time has come when it is in the best interests of our shareholders to sell the company. I am pleased with the outcome of our merger negotiations with Apollo, and have every confidence that the combined Hexion and Huntsman teams will be superb stewards of this business for the next era."

ARCH SEEKING ACQUISITIONS IN BIOCIDES

ICIS news: July 2007
US specialty chemicals maker Arch Chemicals is seeking acquisitions in biocides to further boost its position in that market, chief executive Michael Campbell said. The acquisitions would follow Arch’s purchase of the remaining 51% interest in a wood preservatives joint venture in Australia earlier this month.
Arch Chemicals reported its second-quarter operating income on the back of a stronger performance in its wood protection and industrial coatings business. Operating income for the three months ended 30 June was $56.2m (€41.0m), up from $49.7m in the 2006 second quarter, on sales of $458.3m, up 2.7%.
Arch’s wood protection and industrial coating business recorded second-quarter operating income of $7m, up from $1m, as improved pricing and higher volumes more than offset higher raw material costs. Sales rose 13% to $115.9m.
Arch’s water products business had operating income of $42m, up from $41.4m, on sales of $190.9m, down 3% from the 2006 second quarter. The personal care and industrial biocides segment had operating income of $12.5m, up from $11.6m, on sales of $82.7m, up 10%.
Performance products reported operating income of $5.3m, down from $5.5m, on sales of $68.8m, down 1%. Second-quarter net profit declined 22.7% to $22.8m due to restructuring and asset impairment charges, the Norwalk, Connecticut-based company said.
Profit drivers would be the company’s industrial biocides, wood protection and water products businesses. Arch’s water business would also benefit from the reduction in anti-dumping duties on chlorinated isocyanurates it imports from a supplier in China, he said. The duties are expected to be cut to 6.75%, from 76%, resulting in a benefit to Arch of $15m (€11m) this year and further annual benefits of up to $8m beginning in 2008.

SOLVAY STARTS SUZHOU PERACETIC ACID PLANT

China Chemical News:  August 2007
Solvay has started operations at its new peracetic acid plant in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China. Output from the plant would be used for disinfection applications in the food and drinks packaging industry and in the sterilisation of pharmaceutical production equipment on site. The demand for the process in China had been growing strongly over recent years, it added.
“We are now in an even better position to help our clients in the food and drink industry meet the most demanding food safety standards with a product that has a solid eco-efficiency record,” Eileen Smith, global manager of Solvay's peracetic acid business, said.
Suzhou Crystal Clear Co is operating the plant on behalf of Solvay. The two companies already have a joint venture to produce ultra high purity hydrogen peroxide for the semiconductor industry, in Suzhou.
Peracetic acid is used in a wide range of applications and its uses are expanding as global standards for disinfection and environmental legislation become more stringent.

RIO TINTO EXPECTS INCREASED USAGE OF BORON IN ASIA

Japan Chemical Week: July 2007
Rio Tinto Minerals will ensure a stable supply for boron products in line with the growing Asian demand for these products. The company will expand a bulk terminal in Malaysia in Sep 2007 to ensure a stable supply through 14,500 tonne bulk vessels, eliminating the need for containers. It also plans to establish a separate bulk terminal in North Asia, probably China or South Korea, with completion and start up set within 4Q 2007-1Q 2008. Boric acid demand is also expanding in Japan, the USA and South Korea for applications in thin-film transistor liquid crystal displays. The market is expected to tighten further beginning 2008 as new producers of oriented strand board penetrate Australia and the demand for boric acid for wood-preservation purposes increase. The Lake Macleod site in Western Australia is being expanded to increase industrial salts capacity by 500,000 tonnes/y to 1.9 M tonnes/y by end of 2007. Rio Tinto has salt fields at Port Hedland that can yield 3.2 M tonnes/y and at Dampier with a capacity of 4.1 M tonnes/y in Western Australia for a total capacity of 9.2 M tonnes/y. The company is planning additional expansions at Lake Macleod by 1 M tonnes/y by 2010 or 2011.