Monday, February 10, 2020

ALTANA Division ACTEGA Inaugurates Integrated Site in Brazil

ACTEGA do Brazil has inaugurated a new integrated site in the city of Araçariguama in the Brazilian state of São Paulo, in which around €2 million have been invested. In a first step, the company stated that it is merging the administration, production, and R&D activities from two old Brazilian sites in Guarulhos and Barueri into the new site in Araçariguama.

“South America is a very high-growth region for the packaging sector. With our investment in the new Brazilian site in the heart of the South American continent, we want to further promote and expand ACTEGA’s development for the benefit of our employees and customers,” says ACTEGA division president Thorsten Kröller. In a further step, ACTEGA’s third Brazilian location in Santana de Parnaíba will also be transferred to the new integrated location by 2021 to be able to manage business in the South American market from a central location in the future.

The new location will combine the technology and application know-how of 180 employees from 21 departments on a total area of 12,000 square meters, according to the company. ACTEGA stated that a new state-of-the art 500-square-meter research laboratory is also integrated, so that research, development and production can go hand in hand on site. With the investment in the new integrated site, the company said that intends to further establish itself as a technology pioneer in the South American market. To this end, the new location has explicitly invested in new high-performance dispersion units for printing ink production and corresponding equipment for the production of water-based and UV coatings.

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LANXESS Completes Acquisition of Brazilian Biocide Manufacturer IPEL

LANXESS has completed the acquisition of Itibanyl Produtos Especiais Ltda. (IPEL). With the acquisition, LANXESS says it is strengthening its position as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of antimicrobial active ingredients and formulations. In addition to around 100 employees and the production facility, LANXESS has taken over the Brazilian company’s laboratory facilities.

IPEL reportedly generates the majority of its sales with biocides and specialty chemicals for the paint and coating industry. The product portfolio also includes preservatives and fungicides for process control in water treatment as well as active ingredients for disinfection and cleaning agents.

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Celanese to Acquire Nouryon’s Redispersible Polymer Powders Business

Celanese Corporation and Nouryon have signed an agreement for Celanese to acquire Nouryon’s redispersible polymer powders business offered under the Elotex® brand (Elotex business). As part of the acquisition, Celanese will acquire all of Nouryon’s global production facilities for redispersible polymer powders across Europe and Asia, all products under the Elotex portfolio, as well as all customer agreements, technology, and commercial facilities globally, Celanese stated.

“By acquiring Elotex, Celanese will have direct access to a relatively fast-growing applications and a customer base that is complementary to our emulsions business. The acquisition offers additional flexibility and downstream growth optionality through derivatization, both of which are vital to unlock value under our unique global acetyl chain business model,” said Todd Elliott, senior vice president, Acetyls. “With this acquisition, Celanese will extend its global leadership position in the VAE emulsions space and continue to support our customers in construction and building materials, where Celanese is already focusing significant product, solution and customer development efforts.”

Celanese reported that it expects to integrate Elotex’s redispersible polymer powder product portfolio and production facilities into its global acetyl chain to further meet global product demand. Elotex has production facilities in Europe and China that include Frankfurt, Germany; Geleen, Netherlands; Moosleerau, Switzerland; and Shanghai, China. Elotex’s manufacturing facilities in Frankfurt and Geleen are co-located and operationally integrated with Celanese emulsions assets at these locations. Elotex has its global headquarters, R&D and Technical Services functions located in Sempach, Switzerland.

The parties expect to complete the transaction in the second quarter of 2020, subject to customary closing conditions, regulatory approvals and subject to completion of the works council process. Until closing, Celanese and Elotex will reportedly continue to operate as independent businesses.

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PPG to Acquire Alpha Coating Technologies, Light Industrial Powder Coatings Manufacturer

PPG has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Alpha Coating Technologies, LLC, a manufacturer of powder coatings for light industrial applications and heat sensitive substrates. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Alpha’s best-in-class service, technology and quick turnaround color matching capabilities will be a strategic complement to PPG,” said Kevin Braun, PPG vice president, Industrial Coatings, Americas. “We are pleased to welcome Alpha into the PPG family and continue providing our customers with outstanding products and services.”

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Evonik Completes Acquisition of Peroxychem

Evonik has closed the acquisition of the U.S. company PeroxyChem for $640 million following dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to block the acquisition.

At the end of 2018, Evonik signed an agreement with One Equity Partners to acquire PeroxyChem. The antitrust authorities outside the United States had already approved the transaction. However, in August 2019, the FTC filed a lawsuit to prevent closing of the transaction.

“Despite the uncertainty, we posted a strong performance in 2019 and reported a further increase in sales and earnings in challenging economic conditions. Combining the two businesses will enable our motivated staff to develop even better solutions for our customers,” said Bruce Lerner, CEO of PeroxyChem.

According to Evonik, to comply with antitrust requirements, the PeroxyChem site in Prince George (British Columbia, Canada) will be sold in due course. This site mainly manufactures H2O2 standard products. The proportion of earnings from this operation are reportedly negligible for both PeroxyChem and Evonik.

“We strengthened Evonik’s financial position by divesting our methacrylates business last year,” said CFO Ute Wolf. “As planned, now we are investing a part of the proceeds for the selective expansion into high-margin, less cyclical businesses with a high proportion of specialties and a strong free cash flow.”

Evonik stated that it expects to leverage an unchanged synergy level of $20 million, especially in operations and logistics, expansion of the product portfolio, and launch of new technologies. The purchase price (enterprise value) including synergies is about 7.6 times the annual adjusted EBITDA, or 9.9 times before synergies (based on 2019 financials).

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ACA Urges Congressional Support for the DRIVE-Safe Act

Earlier this month, ACA sent a letter to members of Congress in support of the DRIVE-Safe Act (S.569). The legislation would help to alleviate the nationwide shortage of commercial drivers by providing younger drivers with the opportunity to enter the industry. ACA was among more than 85 associations and organizations that signed the letter in support of Drive-Safe Act passage.

The bill was introduced nearly a year ago, and has several bipartisan cosponsors. The bill has a companion bill in the House of Representatives, H.R.1374.

Seventy percent of U.S. freight is carried by commercial trucks. Yet as our economy strengthens, motor carriers are having difficulty finding the drivers they need to handle growing capacity. According to a recent American Trucking Association estimate, the nation needs an additional 60,800 truck drivers immediately, a shortage that is expected to grow to more than 160,000 by 2028, the letter noted.

In many supply chains, companies are being forced to increase prices to account for higher transportation costs. This will ultimately result in higher prices for consumers on everything from electronics to food.

While 48 states currently allow drivers to obtain a commercial driver’s license at 18, they are prohibited from driving in interstate commerce until they are 21. The DRIVE-Safe Act would create a two-step apprenticeship program to allow these younger drivers to enter the industry safely. Candidates would be accompanied in the cab by experienced drivers for a total of 400 hours of additional training.

Notably, trucks used in the program would be required to be outfitted with the latest safety technology including active braking collision mitigation systems, forward-facing event recording cameras, speed limiters set at 65 miles per hour or less and automatic or automatic manual transmissions. Drivers training within the program will be accompanied by an experienced driver throughout the process.

“The DRIVE-Safe Act will help our nation’s freight continue to move while preserving the safety of our highway system. It will help fill desperately needed jobs and provide younger Americans with the opportunity to enter a profession where they can earn an average of $53,000 with full benefits.”

ACA hopes to work with coalition partners and Congress to enact this important legislation.

Contact ACA’s Heidi McAuliffe for more information.

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ACA Submits Comments on Texas Proposal to Amend “Universal Waste” Regulations

This week, ACA submitted comments to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on the Jan. 10 issued proposed amendments to the state’s Universal Waste Regulation for Paint and Paint-related Waste (PPRW).

According to TCEQ’s schedule, the amendments will likely be adopted on May 20, 2020.

TCEQ is proposing to amend its definition of PPRW under the regulation as follows:

(b) Paint and paint-related waste is used or unused paint or [and] paint-related material which is “hazardous waste” as defined under §335.1 of this title (relating to Definitions), as determined under §335.504 of this title (relating to Hazardous Waste Determination). Paint is a pigmented or unpigmented mixture of binder and [, and which is any mixture of pigment and a] suitable liquid which forms a closely adherent coating when spread on a surface [or any material which results from painting activities].

TCEQ proposed these amendments so that the state’s regulations are consistent with certain federal solid and hazardous waste requirements and with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The regulated communities that would be affected by this rulemaking are businesses and industries involved in the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, recycling, and/or disposal of hazardous waste and industrial solid waste.

ACA had actively sought amendments to the Texas Universal Waste regulations for PPRW aligned with what TCEQ’s is proposing.

ACA Comments

In its comments, ACA expressed support for the proposed amendments, noting that it will provide clarity for industry on what products and materials fall under the new definition of the regulation. However, ACA sought to further erase any ambiguity with a more precise definition of “paint-related waste” and “paint-related material.” ACA believes this would help to create better facility management and also alleviate regulatory burdens, costs, and encourage more recycling and reuse.

ACA suggested the following definitions:

Paint-related waste is material contaminated with paint or paint-related material that results from the packaging of paint, wholesale and retail operations, paint manufacturing, and paint application or removal activities, or a material derived from the reclamation of paint-related wastes that is recycled in a manner other than burning for energy recovery or used in a manner constituting disposal.”

Paint-related material is a paint thinning, drying, reducing or removing compound, curing agent, hardener, or any similar type of material.”

Notably, ACA’ s proposed definition for “paint-related waste” is consistent with Ohio EPA’s definition of the same term; and since Ohio EPA is a peer regulatory body to TCEQ, it seems reasonable to utilize Ohio’s recently adopted universal waste rule for paint and paint-related waste as guidance. ACA also underscored that TCEQ’s proposed definition of “paint” is very similar to Ohio EPA’s Universal Waste Rule, and consistency in regulations promotes industry compliance.

Additionally, ACA’s proposed language for “paint-related material” mirrors the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) description of paint-related material; and the HMR is an established and accepted federal regulation that should be looked to for guidance.

ACA firmly believes that defining these important terms would provide additional clarity and guidance on what paint and paint-related waste products fall under the universal waste regulations.

Contact ACA’s Rhett Cash for more information.

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