Monday, June 20, 2011

AkzoNobel opens €7 million fire protection R&D facility

06-10-2011: AkzoNobel opened a €7 million state-of-the-art fire protection laboratory at its Felling site in the UK, part of a major €10 million investment in research, development and innovation (RD&I) which will create around 40 new jobs.

The lab will be operated by the company's Marine and Protective Coatings business. The global market is growing rapidly due to increasingly stringent fire protection regulations worldwide, with forecasters expecting demand to double by 2018.

"This modern facility will help us to drive innovation and deliver cutting-edge performance coatings technology in line with what our customers demand," said Graeme Armstrong, the company's Executive Committee member responsible for RD&I. "We have installed furnaces on a scale which will test what conditions our coatings materials have to withstand, enabling us to supply our customers with technically sophisticated solutions that are proven and commercially viable."

The new facility is the latest in a series of RD&I investments by AkzoNobel at the Felling site, which employs more than 950 people. Earlier this year, a €2 million lab for powder coatings polymer research and a €1.4 million corporate research laboratory were inaugurated at the location.

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Dow Corning Announces Biesterfeld Spezialchemie GmbH as Solar Solutions Distributor in Greater Europe

Dow Corning Corp. has named Biesterfeld Spezialchemie GmbH as a distributor of silicone-based solutions for the manufacturing of solar photovoltaic modules in 23 countries throughout Europe.

The agreement with Biesterfeld Spezialchemie GmbH includes distributing Dow Corning Solar silicone products, providing technical support and industry expertise to customers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, most of the Central Eastern European countries, the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan.

“Because of their successful 13-year history with Dow Corning, we’re pleased to be working with Biesterfeld Spezialchemie GmbH in the solar business,” said Allison Ashbrook, global distribution manager, Dow Corning Solar Business. “The company continues to expand its dedicated solar team throughout Europe to further develop and grow Dow Corning’s photovoltaic business.” 

“Our highly qualified, dedicated employees are committed to promoting customer and supplier satisfaction by developing long-term business partnerships based on open dialog, trustworthiness and the high quality of Dow Corning solar silicone products,” said Dr. Onno Graalmann, Managing Director, Biesterfeld Spezialchemie GmbH.


Brenntag and Yara renew their cooperation on AdBlue in Europe

 Brenntag and Yara International announce the renewal of their partnership in Europe for the distribution and sale of AdBlue.

The agreement renews a partnership that has been in place since 2006. Air1 delivers the AdBlue product together with a range of services including storage equipment and telemetry. Over the course of the last five years, Air1® has established itself as the reliable quality AdBlue partner that has allowed operators of fleets of all sizes and oil majors to secure their AdBlue supplies and implement the Euro IV and Euro V standards. Under the renewed cooperation, Brenntag will continue to distribute Air1 in BeNeLux, UK, France, Spain and Switzerland.

“Yara and Brenntag have been associated since the start of the AdBlue market, working with OEMs and oil majors to allow transport fleets to implement this environmental legislation” says Rolf Isberg, Head of Air1’s Global Business at Yara International. “With the renewal of this agreement we are confident to have the right set-up in place to meet the demands of this growing market, which now already feeds over 1 million vehicles in Europe alone”.

AdBlue is a non-toxic solution that transforms harmful NOx emissions from heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles into harmless water vapor and nitrogen. The product is the operating fluid used with these vehicles equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction technology to comply with the Euro IV and V emissions standards.

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BASF Antwerpen NV to take over 50% share in Zandvliet power plant from RWE

BASF and the German energy company RWE agreed that BASF Antwerpen NV will take over RWE's 50% share in Zandvliet Power NV. Zandvliet Power, a 50/50 joint venture with the Belgian company Electrabel, operates the combined heat and power (CHP) plant on the BASF site in Antwerp. The effective share transfer is expected in the course of this summer.

"This important investment underlines BASF's intention to further develop its Verbund site in Antwerp," says Margret Suckale, Member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE and President of the Board of Directors of BASF Antwerpen NV. Following the acquisition, BASF will further strengthen its independency from increasingly fluctuating energy markets. At  the Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, BASF has already invested in own local energy production plants to generate electricity and steam.

"A highly developed infrastructure is crucial for the future of the site.  This investment makes us more attractive as an integrated chemical production site," Wouter De Geest, CEO of BASF Antwerpen NV, adds. "Following this acquisition, we will jointly manage this CHP plant which is important for the security of supply of electricity and steam to our chemical plants," he concludes.

A combined heat and power plant co-generates steam (heat) and electricity (power) with a significantly higher efficiency compared to separate generation of the same amount of energy in individual plants. This is in line with the BASF group's objective to increase its energy efficiency by 25% by 2020, compared to 2002.

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