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Sonoco ThermoSafe Launches Reusable Range of Shipping Solutions for Temperature-Sensitive Pharmaceutical and Biological Shipments

Sonoco ThermoSafe, a unit of Sonoco (NYSE: SON) and a leading global provider of temperature assurance packaging, has launched a new range of reusable, universal solutions for the pharmaceutical and biologics markets. ChillTech® is a pre-qualified range of 2°C to 8°C PCM systems providing exceptional temperature control from 2 days up to 6 days for payloads from 4L to 40L. ChillTech® utilizes Sonoco ThermoSafe’s patented Zero Bench-Time® technology, where systems can be packed-out straight from the freezer, saving customers space, time and money.

Sonoco Thermosafe logo 4CSimilar shippers on the market are qualified for just 4-days and typically use high-value components, which translate into higher costs for customers. These shippers also typically need time outside of the freezer prior to packing out, making Sonoco ThermoSafe’s Zero Bench-Time technology a real benefit. Each ChillTech solution has the same pack-out configuration and is used year-round, regardless of season. In addition, following Sonoco ThermoSafe’s philosophy to Embrace Simple®: simply change the outer insulated shipper to switch shipment duration from 48 hours to 96 hours to 144 hours.

“Our ChillTech range offers 2-day, 4-day and 6-day shippers, something new for this market,” said Vishal Khushalani, director of global marketing and business development, Sonoco ThermoSafe. “Plus, our 2-day solutions will be the first affordable reusable shipping option in the market. Considering that most clinical shipments in each region happen within 48 hours, ChillTech shippers will help customers reduce their total cost of ownership significantly.”

“Our innovative ChillTech range of solutions are the only reusable product available on the market that offers 2°C to 8°C protection with the option of single stage conditioning that covers durations from 2-6 days,” said Ron Haub, commercial director of Sonoco ThermoSafe. “Market research has found that one of the key challenges faced by the cold chain industry is finding the time, space and money to accommodate a two-stage conditioning process when preparing time-sensitive cold chain shipments. We are answering that challenge while reducing the cost of ownership through affordable purchase or leasing options.”

ChillTech products are available globally for purchase or for lease from Sonoco ThermoSafe locations across Europe and North America. To learn more about the ChillTech range, visit www.thermosafe.com/chilltech.

About Sonoco ThermoSafe

Sonoco ThermoSafe, a unit of Sonoco (NYSE:SON), is a leading global provider of temperature assurance packaging for the safe and efficient transport of pharmaceuticals, biologics, vaccines and other temperature-sensitive products. Sonoco ThermoSafe shipping solutions mitigate risk for customers and ensure product efficacy throughout the extremes of a supply chain. With operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, Sonoco ThermoSafe has a vast product offering featuring industry-leading technology that encompasses refrigerated, frozen or controlled room temperature applications. In addition, Sonoco ThermoSafe's ISC Labs® deliver individualized design and testing services and innovative packaging solutions along with qualification and validation services to meet all regulatory requirements. More information can be found at www.thermosafe.com

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Brenntag strengthens footprint in Asia Pacific by acquiring Chinese specialty chemicals distributor Wellstar Group

Brenntag, the global market leader in chemical distribution, has signed an agreement to acquire in 2 steps 100% of the shares in specialty chemical distributor Wellstar Enterprises (Hong Kong) Company Limited, Hong Kong, and its 3 Chinese subsidiaries, jointly “Wellstar Group”.

brenntag logoBrenntag will gain a majority stake of 51% with a first tranche in 2017 and the remaining 49% via the second tranche by 2021. In the period from 2017 to 2021, the business will be operated as a joint venture. Wellstar Group focuses on the distribution of specialty pigments, resins and additives mainly across China.

Henri Nejade, Member of the Management Board of Brenntag Group and CEO Brenntag Asia Pacific: “The acquisition perfectly fits into Brenntag’s growth strategy in the Asia Pacific region. Wellstar Group represents a competent and well established specialty chemicals organization. The company has an experienced sales team with broad experience in the relevant industry and offers strong technical competency and support to customers. The investment thus complements Brenntag China’s objective to build up a specialty chemical division for various industry segments, i.e. Coatings and Personal Care.”

Wellstar Group is headquartered in Hong Kong with its 3 Mainland China subsidiaries located in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai. The company sells and distributes high performance pigments, effect pigments, resins and kaolin used in a broad variety of industries among others in the coatings, inks, plastic and cosmetics industry. In addition, Wellstar Group offers value-added services through an application lab for coatings.

Anthony Gerace, Managing Director Mergers & Acquisitions at Brenntag Group: “Brenntag considers the joint venture as well-positioned to grow on the back of favourable market trends, such as the growth in automotive industry in China. Moreover, the acquisition gives us the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with a strategic key supplier, and we see synergy potential with our existing Brenntag China’s customer base.”

In 2016, the business generated total sales of approximately 27.6 million EUR. Closing of the first tranche is expected to occur in the course of the next weeks, subject to contractually agreed closing conditions.

About Brenntag:
Brenntag, the global market leader in chemical distribution, covers all major markets with its extensive product and service portfolio. Headquartered in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, the company operates a global network with more than 550 locations in 74 countries. In 2016, the company, which has a global workforce of around 15,000 employees, generated sales of EUR 10.5 billion (USD 11.6 billion). Brenntag connects chemical manufacturers and chemical users. The company supports its customers and suppliers with tailor-made distribution solutions for industrial and specialty chemicals. With over 10,000 products and a world-class supplier base, Brenntag offers one-stop-shop solutions to around 185,000 customers. This includes specific application technology, an extensive technical support and value-added services such as just-in-time delivery, product mixing, formulation, repackaging, inventory management and drum return handling. Long-standing experience and local excellence in the individual countries characterize the global market leader for chemical distribution.

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AkzoNobel and Itaconix finalize first bio-based polymer application agreement

AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals business has finalized the first application agreement for bio-based polymers to result from its collaboration with specialty polymers company Itaconix.

Announced earlier this year, the joint development agreement involves AkzoNobel's Performance Additives unit developing applications for Itaconix polymers to be used in the coatings and construction industries.

"We are pleased to be announcing the first in a series of agreements to develop these polymers for commercial use," said Peter Nieuwenhuizen, RD&I Director for AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals business. Nieuwenhuizen detailed the development during a presentation today at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Montreal.

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"Being able to incorporate polymers made from renewable bio-based raw materials will give a significant sustainability advantage for our customers and also fits closely with our own Planet Possible sustainability agenda of doing more with less," he said.

Under the agreement, Itaconix will contribute its proprietary polymers from itaconic acid, which are obtained from sugars through fermentation. Continued Nieuwenhuizen: "In addition to applications in coatings and construction materials, bio-based polymers have the potential to be used in a range of other everyday essentials, ranging from improving water quality to cleaning and hygiene products."

Dr. Kevin Matthews, CEO of Itaconix, added: "This is the first commercial step in our joint development agreement to collaborate on delivering valuable solutions to AkzoNobel customers with the novel performance of our polymers.  We are excited to further strengthen our relationship with AkzoNobel and look forward to combining their deep application knowledge with our unique chemistries to build key product positions in these large and important markets."

Nieuwenhuizen also pointed out that the collaboration with Itaconix is another example of AkzoNobel's approach to embracing open innovation to help find more sustainable solutions. The company recently announced the winners of its Imagine Chemistry open innovation challenge, which included start-ups working in fermentation and with bio-based raw materials.

AkzoNobel creates everyday essentials to make people's lives more liveable and inspiring. As a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, we supply essential ingredients, essential protection and essential color to industries and consumers worldwide. Backed by a pioneering heritage, our innovative products and sustainable technologies are designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet, while making life easier. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we have approximately 46,000 people in around 80 countries, while our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. Consistently ranked as a leader in sustainability, we are dedicated to energizing cities and communities while creating a protected, colorful world where life is improved by what we do.

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AkzoNobel planning major expansion of organic peroxide capacity in China

AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals business is working on plans to double production capacity at its organic peroxides facility in Ningbo, China, during the next two years. 

A project to boost the capacity by 40% is already underway, which is expected to be completed by mid-August. The company is now considering a larger scale expansion which would increase current capacity by 100%. The site produces dicumyl peroxide (DCP), an organic peroxide used as a crosslinking agent in the manufacture of polymers. 

"Demand for our products is growing rapidly and expanding our existing facilities provides a great opportunity to meet the needs of our global customers," said Johan Landfors, Managing Director for AkzoNobel's Polymer Chemistry business. "This expansion will allow us to further grow in our market and solidify our position as the world's number one producer of organic peroxides." 

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DCP is a crosslinking agent used to produce a variety of polymers with exceptional durability. These polymers can be found in many different products, such as shoe soles, a market which has been growing in developing countries in particular. DCP is also used in polymers for insulating high-voltage cables, which are in growing demand to upgrade electricity networks and connect offshore wind parks and other sources of renewable energy. 

"We are committed to our customers and to retaining our leadership position in the industries we serve, including organic peroxides," added Thierry Vanlancker, AkzoNobel's Executive Committee member responsible for Specialty Chemicals. "By continuing to invest in our existing operations and focusing on operational excellence, we will be able to provide reliable supplies to accommodate the growth of our customers." 

Opened in October 2016, the Ningbo DCP plant is the largest of its kind in the world. The multi-site employs approximately 500 people and houses operations for several of AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals business units. AkzoNobel is also building a new organic peroxides plant in Tianjin, ensuring the company's long-term commitment to the industry in China. 

AkzoNobel creates everyday essentials to make people's lives more livable and inspiring. As a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, we supply essential ingredients, essential protection and essential color to industries and consumers worldwide. Backed by a pioneering heritage, our innovative products and sustainable technologies are designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet, while making life easier. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we have approximately 45,000 people in around 80 countries, while our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. Consistently ranked as a leader in sustainability, we are dedicated to energizing cities and communities while creating a protected, colorful world where life is improved by what we do.

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NatureWorks Creates Performance Chemicals Division and Launches Vercet Product Line

The new division designs, produces, and markets customizable binder resins, polyols, and chemical intermediates that help innovators within the C.A.S.E. (coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers) and fine chemical industries realize differentiated product performance and decreased systems costs.

NatureWorks, an advanced materials company offering a broad portfolio of renewably sourced polymers and chemicals, has formed a Performance Chemicals Division to supply lactides, polyols, binder resins, and chemical intermediates to companies that manufacture innovative C.A.S.E. (coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers), toners, and fine chemicals.

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“The NatureWorks Performance Chemicals Division delivers renewably sourced chemical intermediates with tailored functionality at competitive prices that help customers move through the R&D process faster with minimal supply chain risk,” said Richard Weber, Performance Chemicals Division General Manager. “This new business focuses on collaborative innovation with our customers across R&D, product development and operations – a far different approach than found today with most global suppliers of functional intermediates.”

The Vercet tunable platform

Vercet is a new tunable platform of lactide-based chemistries from the NatureWorks Performance Chemicals Division. The customizable properties of Vercet polyols provide excellent hardness, solvent resistance, and low color in polyurethanes. As components in polyester resins, Vercet lactides can be used to create low volatile organic compound (VOC), solvent-borne alkyd resins for wood, and metal coatings that have excellent adhesion and impact resistance. Solvent-borne coatings and hotmelt adhesives utilizing Vercet intermediate resins offer a tunable work life, more end-of-life options, excellent adhesion, as well as low dispensing temperatures for food packaging, paper, fiber board, and wood applications. Vercet lactide-based products will have direct and indirect food contact approval as well as inherent health and environmental safety advantages when compared to traditional chemical building blocks.

Since NatureWorks uses biobased feedstocks to produce its lactide monomer, the company does not have the price volatility and supply chain pinch points of traditional coating and adhesive components. This helps procurement, finance, and manufacturing personnel at Vercet customer locations better manage product cost.

About NatureWorks

NatureWorks is an advanced materials company offering a broad portfolio of renewably sourced polymers and chemicals to the packaging, polymers, fibers, and chemicals markets. With performance and economics that compete with oil-based plastics and fibers, naturally advanced Ingeo polymers are valued for their unique functional properties and used in products from coffee capsules and electronics to wipes. For brand owners, there are new cradle-to-cradle options after the use of Ingeo products. Creating performance through chemistry, Vercetlactide-based solutions help innovators realize significant, measurable performance and cost advantages in products such as C.A.S.E. (coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers), toners, and surfactants. NatureWorks is jointly owned by Thailand’s largest chemical producer, PTT Global Chemical, and Cargill, which provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. www.natureworksllc.com