Companies in the news

Akzo Nobel, Arnhem, The Netherlands, announced plans to separate its recently launched Nobilas Claims & Fleet Solutions, a business that manages the total auto accident-repair cycle, as a new, stand-alone business unit, effective April 1. The new business unit will be headed by Cor de Grauw, currently general manager of Akzo Nobel Car Refinishes. De Grauw said the company will expand Nobilas over the next five years as a service supplier to the global market of car insurers and corporate fleets. The company also named Rinus Rooseboom senior Group director Coatings, to succeed De Grauw as general manager of the Car Refinishes business unit.

Alberdingk Boley Inc., Krefeld-Uerdingen, Germany, announced the start-up of production at the company's new polyurethane and acrylate polymer emulsions production plant in Greensboro, NC. The company is a supplier of polymer emulsions for coatings and adhesives.

BASF, Mount Olive, NJ, said it has "largely completed" the first phase of a two-phase restructuring program for its operations in North America, with a second phase currently under way. The restructuring program, announced in August 2003, is aimed at reducing fixed costs by $250 million annually by 2006. The company also said it will relocate its North American regional headquarters from Mount Olive, NJ, to smaller offices in Florham Park, NJ, by the end of the third quarter.

BASF, Mount Olive, NJ, has appointed Archway Sales Inc., St. Louis, distributor for BASF's Performance Chemicals for Coatings, Plastics and Specialties in the Midwest. The distribution territory includes Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and parts of Indiana.

BASF, Southfield, MI, said its Greenville and Whitehouse, OH, coatings and resins facilities received the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council's 2003 "Excellence in Responsible Care" Award for environmental, health and safety performance. The award recognized the sites' operation of an active community advisory panel; a strong pollution-prevention effort that puts a priority on source reduction; and operational controls and procedures that prevented any serious accidents or incidents during 2003.

BASF Coatings, Münster, Germany, announced plans to expand coil-coatings operations in China with the addition of production capabilities in Shanghai. The company, which provided no specifics on the coatings-production facility plans or when the facility would begin operation, currently maintains sales, marketing and technical-service functions in China.

BASF Coatings, Sao Paulo, Brazil, presented the city of Sao Paulo with 15,000 liters of the company's Suvinil brand architectural coatings for "The Wall," a legal-graffiti art project celebrating the Brazilian city's 450th anniversary. The paint was used by artists who created a colorful and creative spectacle along two main roads in the city - the Avenidas Paulista and Reboucas. The "Sao Paulo Capital Graffiti" project was coordinated by the Brazilian initiative "Projeto Aprendiz," and involved a cultural exchange of Sao Paulo and Paris.

BYK-Chemie, Wesel, Germany, recently started operations at two new application-technology labs in China, at Shanghai and Guangzhou. The company said the location of the labs near its production site at Tongling will enhance the transfer of technology between laboratory and manufacturing plant, allowing increased customization of additive products in response to local requirements.

BYK-Chemie USA, Wallingford, CT, has appointed Dunleary Inc., Towson, MD, sales agent in the southeastern United States; with responsibility for a sales territory that includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Dunleary also represents BYK-Chemie in Maryland and Virginia.

J.M. Huber Corp.'s Huber Engineered Materials business, Atlanta, has appointed P.T. Hutchins Co., Los Angeles, sales agent and distributor for Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah. P.T. Hutchins also represents Huber in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

Lyondell Chemical Co., Houston, and Bayer MaterialScience AG, Ludwigshafen, Germany, formally opened a major new propylene oxide/styrene monomer manufacturing facility in Maasvlakte, The Netherlands, near Rotterdam. The companies said the plant, a 50-50 joint-venture project, is one of the largest of its kind in the world, with an annual capacity of 285,000 metric tons (625 million pounds) of propylene oxide and 635,000 mt (1.4 billion lbs.) of styrene.

The Lubrizol Corp., Wickliffe, OH, announced sales-agency appointments for three regions in the United States for the company's AMPS (2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid) monomer product. Lubrizol said the sales agencies will supplement the company's direct sales force. The agent companies and sales regions are Specialty Chemicals Sales Inc., Cleveland, in the Midwestern states; American Dispersions Inc., Louisville, KY, in the southeastern states; and Tri-iso Inc., Claremont, CA, in the western states.

Micro Powders Inc., Tarrytown, NY, has appointed Van Horn, Metz & Co. Inc., Conshohocken, PA, distributor in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., and parts of upstate New York. Micro Powders is a supplier of high-performance wax additives.

Nanophase Technologies Corp., Romeoville, IL, announced a global partnership with Altana Chemie AG to produce certain nanomaterials for use in paint, coatings and plastics. Nanophase, a developer of nanomaterials and nanoengineered products, said the companies will collaborate in developing materials for specialty market areas such as general industrial coatings, architectural coatings, coil coatings, automotive OEM and refinish coatings, printing ink, and plastics. Nanophase also said Altana has acquired more than 1.2 million shares of Nanophase common stock for $10 million in cash.

Netzsch Inc., Exton, PA, has appointed Rudi Kovacko & Associates Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, distributor for Netzsch's Positive Displacement Pumps in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Netzsch also has appointed Engineered & Environmental Products Inc., Windsor, Nova Scotia, distributor for NEMO Progressing Cavity Pumps in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island. Netzsch's Grinding and Dispersion Division has appointed Manutrol Inc. Canadian sales representative for Netzsch's wet grinding and dispersing equipment and dry grinding and classification machines.

Omya AG, Oftringen, Switzerland, said its Netherlands subsidiary Omya Beheer B.V. will build a new natural calcium carbonate production plant in Moerdijk, near Rotterdam, with the start of production anticipated in mid-2004. Initial capacity will be 500,000 tons per year, and the plant will process a high-purity marble mined by Omya in Turkey.

PPG Industries Inc., Pittsburgh, said its Duranar SPF coatings, manufactured by the company's PPG Industrial Finishes business, have been named one of the "Best Products of 2003" by Architectural Record magazine. The coatings, introduced in 2003, employ infrared reflective pigments to increase the reflectivity of medium to dark colors and reduce the amount of heat absorbed by structures, the company said.

SiberHegner North America Inc., Baltimore, announced a company name change to DKSH North America Inc. The move follows the recent merger of the SiberHegner Group and Diethelm Keller Services Asia Ltd. to create DKSH Holding Ltd. DKSH is an international marketing company based in Asia that specializes in sourcing, marketing, logistics, distribution, fulfillment, and after-sales service. In the United States, the company supplies raw materials and specialty additives for the coatings, ink, adhesives, polymers and other markets.

Tomah3, Milton, WI, has appointed DoveChemCentral and RishiChem non-exclusive distributors for cationic and nonionic surfactants in a number of Asian and Middle Eastern countries. DoveChemCentral Pte. Ltd. was appointed distributor for China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, The Philippines and Taiwan. RishiChem was appointed distributor for Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Middle East countries. Tomah3 is a supplier of ether amines and derivatives and alcohol ethoxylates.