Industry watch list

BASF, Wyandotte, MI, has expanded its Wyandotte site with a new applications-development laboratory for the company's consumer refrigeration insulation systems business. The company said the laboratory will enhance efforts to develop, evaluate and commercialize new technologies for the refrigerator/freezer market. BASF supplies polyurethane rigid foam, polystyrene liners and industrial coatings for refrigerator/freezer applications.

Degussa AG, Düsseldorf, Germany, said its Coatings & Colorants Business Unit plans to build manufacturing facilities for the production of colorants and polyester resins for coatings at the Degussa Chemicals (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. site in Shanghai, China. The plants will supply the business unit's paint and coatings customers in the rapidly expanding Chinese market, the company said. Details on the construction timetable and plant capacities were not announced.

Netzsch Inc., Exton, PA, has appointed Vessco Inc., Eden Prairie, MN, sales representative for Netzsch Filtration Systems in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Netzsch also has appointed Woods Industries, Houston, sales representative for Netzsch Filtration Systems in Texas.

Noveon Inc., Cleveland, announced plans to move production of its Sancure polyurethane dispersions product line to Avon Lake, OH, from the company's Leominster, MA, facility. The Leominster site will be closed in the near future, the company said. Noveon also said it plans to expand the Sancure product line, which includes materials for clear wood finishes and other coatings. Steve Demetriou, Noveon president and CEO, said the relocation to Avon Lake will provide space for "future expansion and accelerated product line growth." The move to Avon Lake is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2004.

Wacker Chemical Corp., Adrian, MI, announced an expansion of the company's distribution agreement with Brenntag Inc., Reading, PA, to include both the United States and Canada. The companies said the move expands Brenntag's existing regional distribution responsibilities, and gives Brenntag North American distribution rights for WACKER HDK fumed silica products, WACKER HELICONE HC liquid crystal special-effects pigments, and Wacker's silicone fluids, emulsions and other silicone products. Brenntag Inc. is the North American operation of Brenntag AG, Mulheim, Germany.