Gaz Sintez Chose SynCOR Methanol™ for Plant near Saint Petersburg, Russia
Leningrad, Russia: Gaz Sintez has nominated Haldor Topsoe as the licensor of its methanol plant in the Leningrad Region, Russia. The plant will produce 1.6 million tons per year of AA grade methanol based on Topsoe's SynCOR Methanol™ technology. Gaz Sintez has been developing the methanol plant project at the port of Vysotsk in the Leningrad Region of Russia. As announced earlier, Hyundai Engineering has started the development of the FEED-package, and NIIK has been awarded the Russian general designer contract. The plant is expected to be completed in 2023. SynCOR Methanol™ features single-stage oxygen reforming, a methanol synthesis loop and rectification. It is the most cost -efficient large-scale methanol technology in industrial operation today. Capacities can be up to 10,000 tons per day of methanol. It also offers considerable environmental advantages, leaving a smaller CO2 footprint, and lower water consumption compared to traditional licensed technologies.Based on 70 years of experience within synthesis gas, all SynCOR™ solutions offer more than 99 percent availability and unsurpassed economy of scale. SynCOR™ solutions are suitable for large-scale grassroots ammonia, methanol, hydrogen, CO, TIGAS™, and gas-to-liquid (GTL) plants, as well as syngas hubs producing multiple products.
Global Innovation Award for Sustainable Water Solutions
Chennai, India: Frost & Sullivan has presented Grundfos with this year's award for best practices in Emerging Market Innovation in sustainable water solutions. Grundfos's work was to deliver pioneering and sustainable water solutions to a world where millions still lack access to safe water.

The global research company praises Grundfos for addressing water challenges in emerging markets by introducing solar-powered water pumps that are straightforward to install while also - as another initiative - innovating new business models that make pumps available in a more affordable way. Grundfos works with local partners to deliver on its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6 and 13. After the initial installation process, Grundfos recruits and trains local technicians on the operation and maintenance of the pump systems, thereby creating local expertise.

"It makes all our efforts worthwhile when our innovations improve the lives of people around the world, especially those who did not have access before; this is the very essence of our purpose," said Ulrik Gernow, Group Executive Vice President, CMO, Grundfos. He also added, "We could never have accomplished the same results without our partners in these projects nor the relentlessly ambitious colleagues bringing these solutions forward throughout the world. This award is dedicated to them."

According to Frost & Sullivan, Grundfos gives customers across the globe better access to sustainable water pump systems supported by innovative, reliable technology and expert service, including solarpowered water pumps and the Lifelink product line.

Among a range of concrete solutions, Frost & Sullivan highlights Grundfos' Lifelink solutions, where AQtap - the cloud-connected water dispensers known as water ATMs - can be topped up through mobile phones as well as Aqpure, the water treatment unit that secures safe drinking water.

"We see Grundfos as a company that has committed itself to delivering cost -effective solutions that strengthen the reliability and sustainability of safe water supply in emerging economies. The company has shown commitment to customized solutions and to gain a thorough understanding of emerging market requirements, which have helped Grundfos expand its presence in emerging markets," said Fredrick Royan, Global Vice President for Research in Sustainability & Circular Economy, Frost & Sullivan.
Frost & Sullivan's Findings: New Plastic Technologies and Development of Alternative Bioplastic Solutions Augment the Market Growth
London, UK: Growth opportunities in the global flexible plastic packaging market look promising over the next four years. Shifting consumer preferences and an evolving retail landscape have increased the demand for flexible packaging with features such as improved shelf life, convenience, and ease of use. A growing need for innovative flexible plastic packaging options that meet recyclability, regulatory, and sustainability standards are further factors augmenting lucrative market expansion possibilities. Frost & Sullivan forecasts the global flexible plastics packaging market to generate revenues of $172.29 million from 2018 to 2023 with a steady CAGR of 3.2% during this period.

"Due to current regulatory, consumer, and environmental pressures, manufacturers are steering their strategies towards circularity and leveraged new plastic technologies to develop recyclable and sustainable solutions that include specific properties such as oxygen, moisture, light, puncture, and chemical resistance, and easy-tear propagation," said Prateeksha Kaul, Senior Research Analyst, Chemicals, Materials & Nutrition. "Further key focus areas for manufacturers include the development of alternative bioplastics solutions such as Polybutylene succinate and Biopolyproplyene. However, competitive factors like price and the disposal of bioplastics will need to be examined to ensure successful usage."

From a regional perspective, Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth rate during the forecast period due to the increasing number of dualincome households. While North America faces challenging competition from emerging markets and is set to experience average growth, European regulations regarding recyclability and sustainability of plastics used in packaging are expected to impact this region.

"The persistent growth of the middle-class population in Asia-Pacific is set to be the prime driver for flexible plastic demand owing to the low cost of production," noted Kaul. "Furthermore, an uptick in consumers using eCommerce platforms will drive greater use of flexible plastic packaging associated with shipping products."

From a competitor's position, the supply base is fragmented with multinational companies playing a dominant role in most regions; the top five participants typically cater to less than 30 percent of the market.

To gain a competitive advantage, Kaul recommends players emulate innovative companies such as Amcor, Berry, Huhtamaki, and Mondi; and introduce product innovation aimed at sustainability, enhanced consumer convenience, and ensuring higher recyclability.

Additional growth opportunities participants should aim to secure include:
  • Expanding operations into emerging regions such as Asia-Pacific, where demand for flexible plastic packaging is expected to surge given the growing need for these products across end-applications.
  • Introducing products that promote less use of natural resources, produce less waste, improve shelf-life, and are cost-effective.
  • Increase production capabilities to cater to the growing demand for packaged foods such as ready-to-eat meals, frozen meals, snack foods, and cake mixes.
"Despite significant market expansion prospects, durability and the longevity of plastics imply that it takes a lot of effort to degrade, and flexible plastic like bags, films, and wrappers end up in landfills or oceans," noted Kaul. "Furthermore, plastic litter can also impact human health as it moves up the food chain. This, in turn, has exerted pressure on companies and manufacturers to find viable solutions, either by improving the recycling rate or focusing on producing alternatives to plastics."

Frost & Sullivan's recent analysis, Global Flexible Plastic Packaging Market, Forecast to 2023, explores the industrial, technology, regulatory, and growth factors and trends that have shaped the global flexible plastic packaging market landscape, the challenges that lie ahead, and the opportunities that can be tapped. The research provides a detailed analysis of the growth opportunities for key players in this space. End industries analysed in this research include food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, personal care & cosmetics, and more. Raw material segmentation includes polyethylene, polypropylene, Polyethylene Terephthalate, and others.

Analysis of the Global Flexible Plastic Packaging Market, Forecast to 2023 is part of Frost & Sullivan’s Chemicals, Materials & Nutritionresearch and analyses available through the Frost & Sullivan Leadership Council, which helps organisations identify a continuous flow of growth opportunities to succeed in an unpredictable future.
For the First-Time-Ever, UFlex Demonstrated Rotoflex Stanmas 20: A Rotogravure Printing Press Designed to Print on Aluminium Foil
Noida, India: Uflex Limited, India's largest flexible packaging materials and solutions company and one of the leading Polymer Sciences companies in the world, conducted an Open House for the LIVE demonstration of its new engineering innovation - a special purpose 4-colour Rotogravure Printing Machine named 'Rotoflex Stanmas 20' designed especially to print on aluminium foil - at its manufacturing plant in Noida. The open house witnessed interested customers from Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan, Armenia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and also a leading flexible packaging convertor from Bangladesh Kalyar Replica, to whom the machine will be supplied for pharma packaging.

Rotoflex Stanmas 20 further strengthens the portfolio of Rotogravure printing machine that UFlex already offers with eight variants in it. A single machine that can be used for printing multiple substrates, the latest variant of the press can print on aluminium foil as well as other substrates spread over Polymer family and Paper. The ideal printing speed on the machine is 150 meters/minute for aluminium foil, while other substrates can run upto 200 meters/minute. The press that prints with solvent-based inks, also comes affixed with the unique feature of an Electrical Heating System unlike the usually seen heating system of hot air generator or thermal oil, thereby helps in quick start up of operation.

UFlex has developed the machine with technical inputs from MRG Grafomac of Italy and in-house design team. The machine can be made available to suit the varying budget.

During the Open House, Mr. Sanjay Malik Sabharwal, Executive Vice President, Engineering Business, UFlex said, “RotoflexStanmas20 is a highly sophisticated machine by UFlex making us the pioneer in manufacturing of this special purpose gravure machine for aluminium foil printing, which is otherwise a difficult task. This machine addresses the issue of aluminium foil brittleness, by special adjustments to ensure that the press is better equipped to handle the foil so as to ensure no breakage while moving from one station to another."

Keeping in mind the need to reduce use of nylon in blister packaging for obvious reasons, this machine will cater to the high growth pharmaceutical market, especially blister packaging and also open new avenues in lidding for UFlex. With best- in-class technology at our disposal and some of the sharpest brains at our side, we are confident of taking this printing packaging machine to the global platform", continued Mr. Sabharwal. Suitable for narrow web application, Rotoflex Stanmas 20 is a mechanical line shaft that specialises in printing on aluminium foil of varying thickness. While the trial printing for the Open House was conducted on 8 microns of aluminium, the machine has the capability to print aluminium foil of wide range of thickness, depending on the requirement. Likewise the colour configuration of Rotoflex Stanmas 20 can stretch to 8 colours.
Equatorial Guinea to Convert Punta Europa Methanol Plant to Modular Refinery
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea: A feasibility study has revealed the potential to convert Equatorial Guinea's methanol plant at Punta Europa. The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons is dissatisfied by declining gas production and expects new investment to upgrade Punta Europa facilities. The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) is ordering the dismantling of the methanol plant owned by the Atlantic Methanol Production Company LLC (AMPCO) at the Punta Europa Gas Complex on Bioko Island, calling instead for a modular refinery.

This move notably echoes the Ministry's discontent over Marathon Oil's work program and budget when it comes to exploration and production on their current acreage in the country, which do not reflect the expected level of investment and commitment for key assets such as the Alba offshore field and the methanol plant, which the American company operates.

“The Punta Europa complex is the crown jewel in Equatorial Guinea's gas processing infrastructure and is central to our long-term plans for gas monetization. However, due to a lack of investment in the Alba field and the methanol plant, a modular refinery would be a more productive project for that space," said H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons.

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea has commissioned a feasibility study to convert the methanol plant at Punta Europa. The methanol plant is a component of the larger Punta Europa gas processing facility owned by Marathon Oil and its partners. Marathon Oil Company holds 45 percent shares in the methanol plant. As part of the country's new Gas Mega Hub project - which aims to provide additional gas supply to processing facilities both onshore and offshore - new investment in the Punta Europa complex is needed. The plant is currently supplied by Marathon Oil’s Alba field, which has seen declining production. The first phase of the gas mega hub project is to implement a new gas supply agreement signed between the MMH and Noble Energy, operator of the Aseng and Alen fields in Block I/O. Gas will be supplied to the Punta Europa gas complex, which includes the Malabo power station, AMPCO methanol plant and the Equatorial Guinea LNG plant. The agreement, combined with new subsea pipelines linking the Aseng, Alen and Alba fields, will replace some of the gas production lost as the Alba field declines.

Even as the Alba field declines, however, Noble Energy, Kosmos Energy and Trident Energy have made major discoveries after an aggressive 2019 work program.

Noble Energy made a discovery in the offshore Block I in August 2019, when the Aseng 6P well was drilled to a total depth of 4,417 meters. Kosmos Energy and Trident Energy struck oil in November, making a discovery when the S-5 well was drilled at a total depth of 4,400 meters and encountered 39 meters of net oil play in the Santonian reservoir, in the offshore Rio Muni Basin. The discovery was the first well drilled in Kosmos' infrastructure-led exploration (ILX) in offshore Equatorial Guinea. The drilling of the S-5 well was accelerated following exciting 3D seismic acquired in 2018.

"New investment is what is needed to continue to drive Equatorial Guinea forward. We are very pleased to be working with companies like Noble Energy, Kosmos Energy and Trident Energy, which remain committed to strong work programs and new opportunities for growth," the Minister said.

An expected direct investment of a minimum of $1.4 billion - a firm $1.2 billion and a contingent forecast of $273 million predicted for 2020 - is associated with the drilling of two wells and the continuous development of six existing wells in Equatorial Guinea in 2020.
Romaco Group Appointed Markus Kimpel as its New Group CFO
Karlsruhe, Germany: Romaco Holding GmbH has recently announced the appointment of Markus Kimpel as the new Group CFO as well as Managing Director of Romaco Pharmatechnik GmbH, the manufacturing facility in Karlsruhe (Germany). He will be taking over both positions from Carsten Strenger, who is leaving the company at his own request at the end of 2019. Mr. Kimpel will in future lead the international Romaco Group’s management team together with Romaco CEO Jörg Pieper. He will simultaneously work alongside Markus Regner as joint Managing Director of Romaco Pharmatechnik GmbH. Mr. Kimpel will have responsibility for Finance, Controlling, IT and Human Resources both as CFO and in his role as Managing Director of Romaco Pharmatechnik.

In the course of a career spanning nearly 25 years, Markus Kimpel has accumulated extensive management experience in the construction and automotive supplies industries as well as in the engineering sector. A native of Frankfurt, he holds a degree in Business Administration & Mechanical Engineering and has served in various management positions including Managing Director, CFO, Director Finance and Interim Plant Manager. Most recently, he was Managing Director & CFO at the Aalen-based Alfing Special Machine Group as well as Group CFO at aluplast in Karlsruhe.

"We particularly value Markus Kimpel's experience as a manager and as a proven financial specialist", emphasised Jörg Pieper, CEO Romaco Group. "With him on board the management team, we are optimally prepared for whatever commercial or processing challenges lie ahead of us. He will be a great asset for our company and a worthy successor to Carsten Strenger. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Strenger on behalf of everyone at Romaco for being such a great colleague to work with and wish him all the best for his professional future."

"I enjoy taking on new challenges", Mr. Kimpel explained. "Wrapping up the Romaco Group's integration into Truking, the Chinese parent company, will call for a mix of commercial expertise and diplomatic skills. I am personally very much looking forward to this new, exciting assignment together with my team because I firmly believe this German-Sino constellation offers development and growth opportunities for all players."

The Romaco Group was sold by Deutsche Beteiligungs AG to the Truking holding in May 2017. A three-year plan was drawn up for Romaco's integration into the operative Truking Technology Ltd. Romaco Holding GmbH and its subsidiaries will be transferred to the listed company Truking Technology Ltd. in 2020. Truking Technology Ltd., the Chinese pharmaceutical engineering group, has been listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange (SZSE) since 2014.
Stephanie Coßmann Has Been Appointed to LANXESS Board of Management
Cologne, Germany: Change in the Board of Management at Lanxess: Stephanie Coßmann (46), currently head of the Human Resources group function, has been appointed by the Supervisory Board to become member of the Board of Management and Labor Director. Coßmann, who holds a Doctorate in Law, will take up her new position on January 1, 2020. She succeeds Rainier van Roessel (62), who will resign from the Board and retire at the end of the year.

Paying tribute to van Roessel’s achievements, Chairman of the Supervisory Board Matthias Wolfgruber said: “13 years as Labor Director of LANXESS - that speaks for itself! Rainier van Roessel has skillfully helped shape the company over this long period. He has always been focused on objectivity, efficiency and collegial cooperation - both in his dealings with employees and in dialogue with negotiating partners and trade unions. Cooperation with the Supervisory Board was also characterized by fairness, mutual understanding and trust. On behalf of the entire Supervisory Board, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Mr. van Roessel and wish him all the best for his well-deserved retirement."

Rainier van Roessel joined Bayer in 1988 after completing his business studies and doctorate. In 2004, when LANXESS was established, he became head of the Rubber Chemicals business unit. In addition to this role, he was appointed Managing Director of LANXESS N.V. in Antwerp, Belgium, in 2006. Since 2007, van Roessel has been a member of the Board of Management and Labor Director of Lanxess AG.

Stephanie Coßmann studied law in Paris, France, and Muenster, Germany. After working as a lawyer for several years, she joined Lanxess in 2004. Here she was responsible for setting up the processes and structures required in a listed company in various areas and held various management positions in the Legal and Internal Audit group functions. From 2014, she headed the General Law department in the Legal and Compliance group function. Since July 1, 2017, she has been head of the Human Resources group function, which she and her team have completely realigned.

Matthias Zachert: "In recent years, I have come to know Stephanie Coßmann as an absolutely reliable, experienced and competent colleague. I am looking forward to an even closer cooperation with her and extend a warm welcome to her to the Board of Management."

Katja Conner (51), currently Senior Director HR EMEA at U.S. chemicals company Celanese, will succeed Stephanie Coßmann as head of Human Resources.

Katja Conner studied law in Heidelberg after completing her training as a foreign language correspondent. Her professional career took her through several positions in the personnel department at Hoechst AG and later the Celanese Group.

Jochen Schroer (63), who has been head of the Legal and Compliance group function for many years, will also retire on December 31, 2019. His successor will be Markus Lehner (48), currently head of Compliance & Corporate Audit at Lanxess.

After having studied law, Jochen Schroer worked in academic research, followed by an assignment in the Central Staff of the Management Board of former WestLB. He joined the legal department of Bayer AG in 1988. In 1994, he became head of the legal department of the affiliate Haarmann & Reimer GmbH. In 2002, Schroer came back to Leverkusen, where he took over as head of the legal department of the newly founded Bayer Chemicals AG. In this position, he was closely involved in the founding of Lanxess, conducting contract negotiations regarding the spin-off from Bayer AG. Since 2005, he has headed the legal department of Lanxess, and since 2014 also Compliance & Corporate Audit, Corporate Security as well as Country & Agency Management.

After studying law, Markus Lehner worked in the legal department of Bayer AG before joining Lanxess in 2004. Here he was responsible for the legal support of several business and corporate divisions. In 2009, he took over the management of international M & A projects in the Mergers and Acquisitions group function. Since 2014, Lehner has been head of Compliance, Policies, Data Protection and Corporate Audit in the Legal and Compliance group function.

Zachert: "Jochen Schroer is an outstanding and versatile lawyer who has played a key role in our success since LANXESS was founded. He was an important advisor to me and the entire company in many situations. I am very grateful to him."

"I would like to thank Markus Lehner for his work to date. On behalf of the entire Board of Management I wish him every success and all the best in his new role. I warmly welcome Katja Conner on board of Lanxess," said Zachert.
Archroma Completed the Acquisition of BASF’s Stilbene-based OBA Business for Paper and Powder Detergent Applications
Reinach, Switzerland: Archroma, a global leader in color and specialty chemicals towards sustainable solutions, has recently announced that Archroma India Private Limited has completed the acquisition from BASF India Limited (BIL) of its stilbene - based OBA (optical brightening agents) business for paper and powder detergent applications. The transaction includes BASF's stilbene-based OBA technology, portfolio and manufacturing unit at Ankleshwar, India, where approximately 100 people are employed.

Archroma is a member of the SK Capital Partners group. In July 2015 the company acquired the global textile chemicals business of BASF, and, between 2014 and 2018, M. Dohmen, an international group specializing in the production of textile dyes and chemicals for the automotive, carpet and apparel sectors.

With this new acquisition, Archroma is further consolidating its position as a global chemical leader by expanding both its supply capacity and application markets, in particular in India and Asia.

The company also plans to develop its support to the global detergents market, thanks to its experience with manufacturers and brands in the textile industry. With this, detergent manufacturers will be able to build on Archroma's unique textile expertise to innovate with creative solutions and offerings.
Lanxess Acquired Brazilian Biocide Manufacturer
Cologne, Germany; São Paulo, Brazil: Specialty chemicals company Lanxess has been strengthening its position as one of the world's leading manufacturers of active biocidal ingredients and formulations and has acquired Itibanyl Produtos Especiais Ltda. (IPEL). The family-run company with headquarters in Jarinu, São Paulo, is one of Brazil's leading biocide manufacturers and generated sales in the lower double-digit million euro range in 2018.

Both companies signed an agreement to this effect on Thursday November 28, 2019. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. The transaction is still subject to the approval of the responsible antitrust authorities and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020. "The acquisition fits perfectly with our strategic focus on profitable specialty chemicals", said Rainier van Roessel, member of the Lanxess Board of Management.

With the acquisition of IPEL in Brazil, the Lanxess Material Protection Products business unit is reinforcing its global presence and is now in a position to serve its South American customers from a local production facility. The business unit was previously represented with production facilities in Europe, the USA and Asia.

"With IPEL's business, we are expanding our global production network and strengthening our position in South America", said Oliver Kretschik, Head of the Biocides business line in the Material Protection Products business unit. "IPEL also has a strong customer network that will soon be able to benefit from our combined product portfolio and regulatory expertise." In addition to around 100 employees and the production facility, Lanxess is also taking over the Brazilian company’s laboratory facilities. With the acquisition, the specialty chemical company will also gain access to strategic intermediate products.

IPEL generates the majority of its sales with biocides and specialty chemicals for the paint and coating industry. Biocides protect materials from infestation, destruction and decay caused by microorganisms. They extend the service life and guarantee the functionality of the end products. The product portfolio also includes preservatives and fungicides for process control in water treatment as well as active ingredients for disinfection and cleaning agents. The Lanxess Material Protection Products business unit employs around 540 employees and has production sites in Krefeld-Uerdingen and Dormagen (Germany), Sudbury (Great Britain), Pittsburgh and Memphis (USA), Jhagadia (India), Changzhou (China) and Singapore.

Products from this business unit are used in a huge variety of applications worldwide. With its broad range of active antimicrobial ingredients and preservatives, the business unit provides customer-specific solutions for various branches of industry such as the paints and coatings, disinfection and wood protection industries as well as the building sector and beverage industry. Material Protection Products also provides a comprehensive technical service and regulatory support as well as project-specific research and development.

Lanxess Signed "Sustainable" Revolving Credit Facility of EUR 1 Billion
Cologne, Germany: Lanxess has taken an innovative approach to group financing and has linked its main revolving credit facility to the fulfillment of ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) criteria. The specialty chemicals company has now agreed a new syndicated credit facility with 12 banks, whose interest conditions depend, among other things, on the successful reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1) and the increase in the proportion of women on the top three management levels.

With a volume of EUR 1 billion, it replaces the syndicated loan of EUR 1.25 billion expiring in May 2023. The sustainable revolving credit facility has an initial term of five years as well as two options for one-year extensions. "We are convinced that sustainable criteria are also becoming increasingly important for the capital markets. We have therefore developed this innovative financing concept together with our banking partners. With the 'sustainable' revolving credit facility, we are also underlining our commitment to achieving our ambitious climate targets," said Michael Pontzen, Lanxess' Chief Financial Officer.

In November, Lanxess announced that it will go climate neutral and eliminate its greenhouse gas emissions of currently around 3.2 million metric tons of CO2 by 2040.

The revolving credit facility is intended to secure the company's liquidity in the long term and thus to provide financial backup for growth. "We have used the good capital market environment and our solid investment grade rating to secure Lanxess' long-term financing on attractive terms," said Pontzen. The transaction was coordinated by Deutsche Bank and UniCredit.
Thyssenkrupp Successfully Commissioned Caustic Soda Expansion Project for the Andhra Sugars Limited
Mumbai, India: Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (India) has successfully commissioned a Caustic Soda Expansion project for The Andhra Sugars Limited at their Saggonda Chemical Complex in Andhra Pradesh. The project involved expanding the capacity of the Caustic Soda plant from 436 tpd to 500 tpd.

The expansion project deploys the latest Generation VI Membrane Cell technology from thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers GmbH.

The scope of services included Basic Engineering, Detailed Engineering, Project Management Services including Technical Procurement, Proprietary Supplies, Supervision during Civil, Structural / Erection work and Supervision Services during Start-up, Commissioning and Performance Test Run.

In a reiteration of the faith in the thyssenkrupp technology, The Andhra Sugars Limited recently placed another order on thyssenkrupp for upgrading the other Membrane Cell elements in the Caustic Soda plant.

thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (India)' association with the Caustic Soda major began in 2001, and was followed by a number of expansion orders, including conversion of the customer's Membrane Cell facility from DeNora to thyssenkrupp (Uhde) Membrane Cell technology
Haldor Topsoe and Sasol United to Offer Single-Point Licenses to Customers for Proven Gas-To-Liquid Solutions
Copenhagen, Denmark: Topsoe and Sasol has recently announced that they have entered into a collaboration agreement to jointly license their GTL technologies. For many years, the two companies have worked together on numerous GTL projects and technologies, and Topsoe's SynCOR™ technologies and Sasol’s Fischer-Tropsch technologies have been licensed into several world-scale GTL ventures.

Under the collaboration agreement, the companies will continue to offer these core technologies and will now also provide Topsoe's hydroprocessing and hydrogen technologies. This gives potential customers access to a singlepoint licensing offering that covers the entire value chain from gas feed to liquid fuels. As single-point licensors, Sasol and Topsoe will offer customers all necessary technology licenses for a complete GTL solution and in addition provide basic engineering, catalysts, and hardware.

TechnipFMC has been pre-approved to provide licensor engineering support and carry out front-end engineering design, detailed design, procurement, and construction. TechnipFMC was the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the Oryx GTL facility in Qatar and has performed a number of front-end engineering designs for GTL facilities, including the Uzbekistan GTL.

"It is a pleasure to announce this collaboration. Together, Sasol and Topsoe now offer customers complete and proven end-to-end GTL solutions. This is unique and extremely valuable for customers seeking bankable GTL solutions for monetizing abundant natural gas reserves. With this collaboration, we now offer customers a full range of solutions based on many of Topsoe's core technologies, and we are excited to expand our companies' global leadership for proven gas monetization solutions," says Amy Hebert, Deputy CEO of Topsoe.

Marius Brand, Acting EVP Technology of Sasol, adds: "Sasol and Haldor Topsoe's technology relationship spans more than 20 years, through which we have successfully commercialized several advanced technologies. We are delighted to enter into this collaboration arrangement, and with the support of TechnipFMC we're able to offer the best GTL technology to the market. Although Sasol announced in 2017 it would not pursue future equity participation in greenfield Coal to Liquids or GTL opportunities, we recognize that our Fischer-Tropsch technology has a role to play in monetizing in-country natural gas resources otherwise not accessible. In addition, the technology could play a significant role, in conjunction with renewable energy resources, in the conversion of greenhouse gases to sustainable liquid fuels. The combination of the Sasol and Topsoe technologies offers a proven and robust solution for these applications."
Data is Making Chemistry Smarter
Leverkusen, Germany: One of the most important challenges the chemical industry has been facing is to develop new materials and products faster and more sustainably - to reintegrate them into the raw materials cycle. How can digital tools help to improve research and production right through to customer contact? How can data sciences and artificial intelligence contribute to a more sustainable, resource-saving chemistry? And how can the management of business and supply chains be optimized through greater use of data in conjunction with machine learning? Leading experts from established companies, start-ups and universities discussed these questions at the first conference for data science in chemistry, "Chemalytix", in Leverkusen. Covestro, a manufacturer of high-performance materials, launched the event together with Bayer and Evonik.

The first international data science hackathon, which Covestro organized in advance at three universities worldwide, was won by a student team from RWTH Aachen University, Germany, with a model for an improved production process based on machine learning. The students were honored at the conference and received the global winner's award in Leverkusen.

"We have not yet exploited the full potential of these new technologies. We must continue to develop the interaction between humans and artificial intelligence for our industry and ensure that data and intellectual property remain secure. If we are to remain successful in the long term, we must tackle this challenge now," said Sucheta Govil, Chief Commercial Officer of Covestro and responsible for innovation. "Only by working together can we find the answers. That's why cooperating with leading partners in industry as well as with customers is so important."

"Data sciences have the potential to significantly change our entire value chain, from research and development to production and logistics to sales and marketing," said Kemal Malik, Member of the Board of Management for Innovation at Bayer. “We are already seeing the enormous potential of data science in the life sciences, for example in digital agriculture and precision medicine. At the same time, digital technologies will play a key role in helping us achieve our global sustainability goals. Partnerships with universities, startups and other large companies are essential in this dynamic environment."

Henrik Hahn, Chief Digital Officer of Evonik, said: "I consider Data Science to be an application-oriented science in the truest sense of the word and thus far more than a business intelligence Ferrari. While BI enables better decisions to be made on the basis of the known, data science knowledge starts with the unknown. And this can also bring decisive competitive advantages in chemistry. At Evonik, we have therefore set up central contact points for data science. To put it in a nutshell, we are looking at how we can jointly develop a powerful magnet internally. We want to use it to find the famous needle in the haystack sooner. Gathering the right data with the right tool - that's what it's all about".
BASF to Double their Production Capacity for Polymer Dispersions in Dahej, India
Dahej, India: BASF India has recently planned to double their capacity for polymer dispersions with a new production line at its site in Dahej , Gujarat. Through the investment, BASF aimed to provide a reliable supply of highquality dispersion solutions to customers in the fast-growing Indian and South Asian markets.

"We see a growing need for our latest generation of innovations, including low- VOC and low-odor dispersions for industries, such as architectural coatings, construction, paper and adhesives. This capacity increase aims to address customers' needs and support their development in the region," said Jeff Knight, Senior Vice President, Dispersions and Resins Asia Pacific, BASF.

"This new investment will double the production capacity by early 2021. It will be a driving force to support our customers' growth in the rapidly growing economies in South Asia," said Narayan Krishnamohan, Managing Director, BASF India Limited and Head, BASF South Asia.

BASF began production of polymer dispersions in Dahej, Gujarat in October 2014, and currently operates one line at the plant. As the largest single investment to date for BASF in India, the site is an integrated hub for polyurethanes manufacturing and houses production facilities for Polymer Dispersions as well as Care Chemicals. BASF also produces dispersions in Mangalore, a strategic production site in the southern part of India.

Apart from South Asia, BASF will also double the production capacity in its Pasir Gudang site in Malaysia to support the rising demand for acrylics dispersions in ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand. The new line will be operational in Q2 2020.
Internet of Things (IoT) for Fill-Level Monitoring and Mobile Container Positioning
Mannheim, Germany: Pepperl+Fuchs has recently presented an IoT sensor with integrated ultrasonic measurement for determining fill levels. The data is recorded at regular intervals and uploaded to the internet along with the current geolocation. The autonomous wireless sensor is battery-operated and can therefore be used in mobile containers.

With the Wilsen.sonic.level, Pepperl+Fuchs has developed a sensor concept that is suitable for use in a variety of different wireless networks. For example, there is a product version with a GSM(2G) interface for public mobile networks. Another version of the product has a LoRaWAN interface for using privately operated low power wireless networks. All of these radio interfaces are used to transmit sensor data to the internet. Depending on the wireless standard selected, an appropriate remote location is available on the internet for the incoming sensor data. For example, LoRaWAN devices can send their telemetry data to the network and application server of any LoRa network operator. When using the public GSM mobile wireless standard, the Wilsen.service middleware acts as a secure remote location for receiving and forwarding the telemetry data from the sensor. The system concept of the Wilsen.service not only handles the decoding and the targeted forwarding of the sensor data, but also offers secure and convenient device management. This is particularly advantageous if a large number of IoT sensors will be used in later practical operation and if logging into the wireless network and assigning the right users needs to be as automated as possible.

Furthermore, Wilsen device management enables automated application parameterization of IoT sensors and a structured roll-out for software updates to ensure that even large numbers of IoT sensors in the field are kept up to date. The WILSEN concept provides a modular IoT system to which individual components such as sensor modules, network nodes, middleware, and data processing can be added.

"Automation is the world. A Perfect application solution is the goal. A willingness to take entrepreneurial risks, a pioneering spirit, and a firm belief in their own inventive powers" - these were the assets that Walter Pepperl and Ludwig Fuchs started out with when they opened their Mannheim radio repair shop in 1945. Their invention of the proximity switch a few years later proved their strength. It was also the starting point in a successful history defined by close customer relationships as well as innovative automation technologies and procedures. Then as of now, their focus is directed squarely on the individual requirements of each customer. Whether as a pioneer in electrical explosion protection, or as a leading innovator of highly efficient sensors - the close communication with their customers is what allowed them to become the leader in automation technology. Their main objective is combining state-of-the-art technologies and comprehensive services to optimize their customers' processes and applications.
DuPont Personal Protection Launched Nomex® Global Portfolio of Fabric Solutions
New Delhi, India DuPont Personal Protection has recently announced the launch of its Nomex® global portfolio of fabric solutions architected for the Oil & Gas, Utilities, and Manufacturing industries in the Asia Pacific market to provide workers with flame-resistant (FR) and arc-rated (AR) protection they need, along with the comfort and durability they seek. The launch follows the recent introduction of the new DuPont Personal Protection Portfolio, which is focused on bringing streamlined solutions to safety managers . The Nomex® global portfolio addresses industrial personal protective equipment (PPE) needs, by providing fabrics with global standards certification, simplifying the process of PPE global specification and purchasing.

DuPont Personal Protection makes it easier for safety managers to specify garments that have been certified in the regions around the world where they operate. DuPont continues to develop deep customer insights in Oil & Gas, Utilities and Manufacturing industries to provide tailored solutions by bringing the science behind protection for today's global workforce.

"Every year, industrial workers across the globe face severe injuries related to heat, flame, and electric arc flash incidents" said David Domnisch, global leader for DuPont Personal Protection. "With the new direction laid out in our DuPont Personal Protection business and our ability to globally service companies, we are laser-focused on providing the latest safety solutions and innovations to our customers based on the inherent dangers faced in their specific industry. Whether Oil & Gas, Utilities or Manufacturing, DuPont is dedicated to keeping the world’s workforce safe with products they can trust."

Today, more than one million workers trust and wear Nomex® annually and this new portfolio of fabric solutions addressing multiple hazards will meet or exceed international standards such as NFPA 2112, EN-ISO, ISO 11612, China GB, and NFPA 70E, for thermal exposures, electric arc and others. To ensure DuPont™ Nomex® products deliver the utmost protection, Nomex® fabric solutions are tested using the company's ThermoMan® and ArcMan® evaluation systems. DuPont™ ThermoMan® is a life-sized mannequin system that is covered with 122 heat sensors and dressed in test garments and burned at over 1,800°C to ensure optimal product performance under simulated conditions. DuPont™ ArcMan® allows DuPont to measure how much protection fabrics and garments offer against electrical arcs that can generate temperatures of up to 20,000°C.

The Nomex® global portfolio of fabric solutions is an extension to the DuPont Personal Protection Portfolio which consists of Kevlar® aramid fiber for cut and mechanical protection, Tychem® garments for liquid and gas chemical hazards, and Tyvek® garments for dry particulate hazards. Tychem® and Tyvek® garments are also available through DuPont's distributor network across the APEC market.
Covestro and BÜFA Thermoplastic Composites Cooperated in the Distribution Of Maezio™ UD Tapes
Mumbai, India: Covestro has entered into a distribution agreement with BÜFA Thermoplastic Composites, a supplier of raw materials and semifinished products for thermoplastic components. The agreement grants BÜFA distribution rights for Maezio™ thermoplastic UD (unidirectional) tapes from Covestro.

This first distribution partnership in Europe for the thermoplastic composite business of Covestro is a response to the growing demand for materials that are designed for lightweight construction yet as robust as metal.

Best possible solutions for customers : "We're super excited to introduce BÜFA as part of our distribution network around the globe, "said Lisa Ketelsen, Head of the Thermoplastic Composites Business of Covestro. "In the future we want to nurture our mutual exchanges on market trends and customer needs in order to find the best possible solutions for our customers."

"We're thrilled to add Maezio™ into our product portfolio," said Dirk Punke, Managing Director of BÜFA Thermoplastic Composites. "The tapes can be made particularly thin, but have a high stability and are especially light at the same time, which enables the production of complex and three-dimensional components in a wide range of industries."

Maezio™ UD tapes are based on a thermoplastic matrix such as polycarbonate, which is strengthened with strands of continuous, oriented carbon or glass fibers. The UD tapes can be laminated together at different angles to form sheets that can be tuned to specific performance targets.

Based in Oldenburg, Germany, BÜFA Thermoplastic Composites GmbH & Co. KG is a spin-off of the BÜFA Group and was founded in 2018. It specializes in the sale of raw materials and semi-finished products for the manufacture of components from long and continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics.