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On 5 December 2019, Huntsman Corporation announced its agreement to acquire Icynene-Lapolla, a leading North American manufacturer and distributor of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation systems for residential and commercial applications, from an affiliate of FFL Partners, LLC.

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The outbreak of a fungal disease that weakens rubbers trees in Thailand has led to the halt of imports of rubber seeds, seedlings, and saplings into Myanmar, local authorities in Yangon announced. Following the outbreak of the Pestalotiopsis sub species fungal infection of Thai rubber trees, rubber seeds, seedlings, and saplings will not be allowed through local airports and border gates, the Crop Protecting Unit of Myanmar’ s Department of Agriculture said.

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Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe has announced a price decrease for all polystyrene (PS). Effective 1 December 2019, or as existing contract terms allow, the contract and spot prices for the products listed below will decrease as follows:

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The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has called on rubber industry owners to obtain quality certification for their product to boost rubber prices. The ministry’s director of the Department of Administration and Legislation under the ministry’s General Directorate of Rubber Khuon Phalla spoke to The Phnom Penh Post on Sunday (December 1, 2019). He said the ministry had observed that the industry’s owners did not fully comply with the sub-decree and relevant prakas (decret) on rubber certification, which are compulsory for state-owned and private rubber producers.

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The year 2020 will be an anniversary year in three respects for the IKV – Institute for Plastics Processing in Industry and Craft at RWTH Aachen University: The RWTH Aachen University celebrates its 150th anniversary, IKV will celebrate its 70th birthday and it will be the 30th time it stages the International Colloquium Plastics Technology – on 11 – 12 March 2020 in the Eurogress Aachen. The day before the Colloquium, on 10 March 2020, IKV will mark its anniversary by holding the International Symposium on Plastics Technology in the VIP area of the Tivoli soccer stadium. While the Colloquium will present the broad range of IKV research and will target primarily the plastics industry with its practice-oriented research, the Symposium will feature papers from scientists from 14 countries, and aims to arouse lively discussion between scientists and industry.

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Daelim has been awarded a contract by Hyundai Chemical, a joint venture of Hyundai Oilbank and Lotte Chemical, for a heavy feed petrochemical complex being built in Daesan, South Korea. The project, scheduled to be completed in 2021, will include the production of 300,000 t/y each of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), as well as 250,000 t/y of polypropylene (PP).

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Adidas announced that production at its two Speedfactories in Ansbach, Germany, and Atlanta, GA, USA, will be discontinued by April 2020 at the latest. The company will continue to develop, improve and test manufacturing processes in Germany. Process innovations will be bundled and driven forward at the production site in Scheinfeld, the so-called adiLab. Starting at the end of 2019, the company will use its Speedfactory technologies to produce athletic footwear at two of its suppliers in Asia. Adidas said that it expects this to result in better utilisation of existing production capacity and more flexibility in product design.

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Cabot Corp. has begun construction on its previously announced carbon black expansion project at its site in Cilegon, Indonesia. The company last year announced it would add over 300,000 t/y of capacity to its global network of carbon black facilities through the combination of a plant expansion, operational improvements and debottlenecking projects. This phase of the project will add around 80,000 t/y of additional carbon black production capacity. Completion is expected in 2021.

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On 5 November 2019, Grammer AG signed an agreement with Changchun FAWSN Group Co., Ltd., Changchun, China, an affiliated company of FAW Group Co., Ltd., one of the largest automotive manufacturers in China, to establish a joint venture for automotive interior components. Grammer will be holding 50 % of the new joint venture Grammer FAWSN Vehicle Parts Co., Ltd. The other 50 % will be held by Changchun FAWSN Group Co., Ltd.

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The specialist exhibitions and conferences organiser Smarter Shows announced that Foam Expo Europe 2019, Europe’s largest trade fair dedicated to the technical foam industry, expanded its scope this year to welcome more participants from related sectors and recorded a significant increase in attendee numbers. Running in parallel with the event, Composites Europe, organised by Reed Exhibitions, offered synergies for the joint application industries such as automotive, aviation, the construction sector and the sports and leisure industry.

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The Indian compounding specialist Technovinyl Polymers India (“The Little Giant”) is on expansion course. The company with registered office in Mumbai and compounding facilities in Silvassa (ca. 150 km north of Mumbai) has announced a name change and plans for a new compounding unit.

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