BPD Directive to be Implemented in May 2000

Pesticide News: June 1999

According to Marc Debois, responsible for the environmental pesticide policy at the Environment Directorate General (DGXI) of the European Commission, the guidance documents for the Biocides Product Directive are at various stages of preparation and will be adopted before the implementation of the Directive which is in May 2000. The 1st regulation for the review evaluation programme should be adopted in 1999. Hopefully we will be able to start to evaluate individual substances by 2001. Currently a list of existing biocidal active ingredients is being prepared which will be published in 1999.

Eu study on voc’s

European Coating Journal: June 1999

The EC has commissioned a study on the potential for reducing VOC emissions associated with the decorative paints and varnishes sector from a consortium consisting of four consultancies. The objectives of the study are:

- To present a synthesis of the relevant elements characterising the decorative paints and varnishes sector.

- To explore, at a technical level, the possibilities of limiting the concentration of organic solvents in products used in this sector.

- To analyse the environmental and economic impact of such regulatory measures.

The project will run for one year and the project team will be involved in intensive consultation with interested parties over that time.


Work Progressing on BASF Formaldehyde Plant

Paints & Resins International: June 1999

BASF Aktiengesellschaft is currently building the world's largest plant to produce formaldehyde at its headquarters site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. This new plant will have an annual capacity of 180,000 metric tons (calculated as 100 percent formaldehyde) and is scheduled to start operations in the fourth quarter of 2000. BASF will spend about DM 32 million to construct the plant and the necessary infrastructure. BASF currently operates several smaller plants at its Ludwigshafen site that annually produce a combined 444,000 metric tons of formaldehyde. Three of these plants will be closed once the new plant begins operations. At the end of 2000, BASF will have a total annual production capacity of about 470,000 metric tons of formaldehyde at the Ludwigshafen site. BASF operates another formaldehyde plant at its site in Antwerp, Belgium, with an annual capacity of 40,000 metric tons. Formaldehyde is an indispensable chemical that is used to produce chemical intermediates such as butanediol and neopentyl glycol. It is also used to manufacture adhesives and impregnating resins. Other important products based on formaldehyde are plastics such as polyoxymethylene (POM), which BASF sells under the trade name Ultraform, as well as plastic precursors such as methylene diphenyl isocyanate (MDI) and methacrylic acid.


Ashland Acquires 50 % of Donau Drew

PPCJ: May 1999

Ashland Specialty Chemical Co. has acquired the 50% of the Austrian joint-venture company Donau Drew formerly held by Donau Chemie of Vienna. Ashland and Donau formed the venture, a supplier of specialty chemicals for coatings and other markets, in 1990. Ashland Specialty Chemical said the business would be operated as a wholly owned affiliate company within its Drew Industrial Division, serving markets in Austria and eastern Europe.

China: setting up for a biocides boom

Chemistry and Industry: May 1999

Chinese demand for speciality biocides is about 54,000 tonnes/y, worth $100 M. Of this volume, food preservation accounts for 15.7%, sanitation and disinfection for 15.7%, feed preservation 11.8%, industrial wastewater treatment 9.7% and industrial preservatives 1.1%. Overall there is overcapacity and intense competition, and prices have fallen. Food preservation biocides will continue to see double-digit growth. There is also rapid growth in the sanitation and disinfection market. Use of biocides in industrial wastewater treatment has grown at 10%/y for the last 4-5 years, and strong growth is expected to continue due to the advent of regulations on effluent discharges. Demand for industrial preservatives is growing moderately. Overall, Chinese biocides demand will grow at 8%/y to reach 81,000 tonnes or $150 M in 2003. Foreign companies will need an in-depth understanding of the Chinese market in order to meet customer demands and market their products effectively. However, even the leading domestic companies generally have weak R&D capabilities, product portfolios and marketing activities, so opportunities exist for foreign investors.