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Keywords of this article:  automotive 
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AkzoNobel shareholders approved separation of Specialty Chemicals business

At an Extraordinary General Meeting on November 30, shareholders of AkzoNobel approved the separation of its Specialty Chemicals business as part of its strategy to create two focused businesses: Paints & Coatings and Specialty Chemicals.

It enables the company to separate its Specialty Chemicals business through a private sale or legal demerger.

However, AkzoNobel suffered a setback as the merger discussion with US’ Axalta ended without an agreement. It is reported that Japan’s Nippon Paint has made a bigger cash bid for Axalta, prompting the latter to quit talks with AkzoNobel.

BMW investing €200 million in new Battery Cell Competence Center 

BMW will invest €200 million over the course of four years in a new Battery Cell Competence Center to advance battery cell technology and introduce it into production processes.

The center, which broke ground on November 24, is expected to open in early 2019.

In the new research center, BMW will analyze battery cell design and cell technology, creating prototypes of future battery cells with focuses on the chemical composition of the cells, use of different materials, how the cell behaves in critical or extremely cold conditions, charging and rapid-charging behavior, as well as evaluating cell sizes and forms.

The German automaker is also developing the 5th generation of its electric drivetrain, which does not require the use of rare earths, for release in 2021.

Clariant and Tiangang confirm location of new production JV in China

Switzerland specialty chemicals company Clariant and China’s Tiangang Auxiliary Co. Ltd. kicked-off their new production Joint Venture (JV) with the go-ahead to purchase a site within the Cangzhou National Coastal-Port Economy and Technology Development Zone in Hebei province.

The two partners intend to build a production facility for the joint manufacture of process and light stabilizers at the location. Production at the new site is scheduled to come on stream in the first half of 2019. The JV will initially focus on textile-related stabilizers and solutions for the automotive industry.

Lanxess building new €20 million high performance plastics plant in Changzhou, China

Lanxess announced that it is building a new plant for high performance plastics in Changzhou, China with an investment of €20 million.

The new site, expected to come into operation in 2019 second quarter, will produce up to 25,000 tons of Durethan- and Pocan-branded plastics for the automotive sector and the electrical & electronics (E&E) industry.

China is the largest automotive market in the world and is setting the pace for electromobility. We want to support growth in this important region and are expanding our presence in the high performance plastic segment,” said Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the Lanxess Board of Management.

Kautex inaugurates new 5,000sqm assembly hall at Germany headquarters

Kautex Maschinenbau has completed its new 5,000sqm assembly hall at its Bonn, Germany headquarters in just nine months.

The plant will mainly be used for the assembly of KBB-series all-electric packaging machines as well as KSB machines for blow molding applications in the automotive industry.

Trinseo starts up new MAGNUM ABS line in China

On November 16, Trinseo announced the successful start-up of a MAGNUM acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) production line at its Zhangjiagang, China site.

The company expects to sell ABS from this plant in the fourth quarter.

Production of MAGNUM ABS in China is an important milestone for Trinseo and the Asia Pacific market,” said Tim Stedman, SVP and Business President, Basic Plastics & Feedstocks at Trinseo. “We are delivering on our promise at Trinseo of providing our customers with a differentiated ABS product compared to other competitive resins produced in China today.”    

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