May's top stories: Bostik expands Seremban capacities, Air Liquide's buys Airgas

Bostik expanded production capacities of its cementitious product at its Seremban plant, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) granted clearance for the acquisition of Airgas by Air Liquide. wraps-up the key headlines from May.

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Bostik expands manufacturing capacities at Seremban plant in Malaysia

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Bostik expanded production capacities of its cementitious product at its Seremban plant in Malaysia to meet growing demand for the product in Sabah and Central and North Malaysian regions.

The company uses Polymer Modified Binder (PMB) technology to manufacture cementitious products at its Seremban plant.

The expansion of the plant will help speciality adhesive producer to strengthen its position in the Malaysian market, as well meet the demands of its construction clients from Kuala Lumpur, North Malaysia and Sabah.

Air Liquide's $13.4bn acquisition of Airgas gets US FTC clearance

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) granted clearance for the acquisition of US company Airgas by France-based Air Liquide.

The clearance satisfies the final regulatory condition of the closing of this pending acquisition, which is expected to be completed on 23 May, subject to the satisfaction of the remaining customary closing conditions.

Under the $13.4bn deal announced in November last year, the companies have agreed to sell assets used to produce bulk oxygen, nitrogen, argon and other products in certain markets.

AkzoNobel expands coatings plant in Indonesia

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Netherlands-based AkzoNobel completed the first phase expansion of its performance coatings plant in Cikarang, Indonesia.

Carried out with an investment of €2.5m, the expansion will increase the plant's production capacity by 40%, as well as meeting the growing demand for its products from petrochemical and power sectors.

AkzoNobel's Protective Coatings managing director Mauricio Bannwart said: "This investment is a testament to our commitment to Indonesia, which continues to improve its position as an emerging market."

BASF sells closed sterols manufacturing plant in Pasadena to Trecora Resources

Germany-based chemical firm BASF's US subsidiary sold its former sterols manufacturing facility in Pasadena, Texas, to Trecora Chemical (TC), a provider of high-purity specialty hydrocarbons and waxes.

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed by both the parties.

BASF noted that its 6.5-acre plant is located adjacent to the 22-acre Trecora Chemical facility and will be integrated with TC.

Honeywell to spin off $1.3bn resins and chemicals business

Honeywell announced plans to spin-off its resins and chemicals business into a standalone company named AdvanSix.

Honeywell chairman and CEO Dave Cote said: "Our $1.3bn resins and chemicals business enjoys a leading position in the industries it serves and a global cost advantage.

"Following the spin-off, Honeywell and AdvanSix will each have a more focused business and be better positioned to invest more in growth opportunities and execute strategic plans best suited to its respective business."

PPG opens new coatings centre at Oak Creek plant in US

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US-based PPG Industries opened a new liquid coatings application development centre at its plant in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

The new $3m centre includes advanced equipment that helps simulate industrial coatings customers' manufacturing environments to ensure PPG coatings will be properly and consistently applied during their production processes.

It houses several curing ovens, robotic paint applicators and spray booths with temperature and humidity controls to mimic a wide range of liquid coatings application conditions.

Stepan to close Longford Mills facility in Canada

US-based manufacturer of specialty chemicals Stepan Company announced plans to close production at its facility in Longford Mills, Canada, by the end of this year.

The company noted that the products manufactured at this facility will be moved to other production sites within its existing North American network.

In the first quarter of this year, the company had discontinued ethoxylation production at the site.

Evonik to pay $3.8bn for Air Products' specialty and coating additives business

Evonik Industries agreed to acquire the specialty and coating additives operations of US industrial gas producer Air Products and Chemicals for $3.8bn.

Scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, the deal will strengthen Evonik's position on the high-margin specialty and coating additives market.

Following completion, the combined specialty and coating additives business will have a turnover of around €3.5bn and an attractive EBITDA margin of more than 20%.