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September 7th, 2012

Ceramics and glass business news of the week

Published on September 7th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Here is what we are hearing:

Lynas rockets after Malaysian plant approved

(Sydney Morning Herald) Lynas Corp. stock soared by almost 60 per cent after the company received a temporary operating license for its long-delayed $800 million rare earths plant in Malaysia. The Lynas plant on Malaysia’s east coast has been ready to fire up since early May, but the company has been embroiled in lengthy environmental and safety disputes with local residents since construction began two years ago. The Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing Board issued the permit yesterday following an earlier recommendation from a government committee.Yesterday’s approval will allow it to transport rare earths concentrate from its Mt Weld mine near Laverton in Western Australia to be fed into the Malaysian plant kiln in October. Lynas expected income from sales by the end of the year and by the first quarter of 2013 to be cashflow positive. Full production of 22,000 tons a year would be achieved before the end of next year.

Vestas to cut more jobs as prospects darken

(Reuters) Danish wind turbine maker Vestas unveiled plans on Wednesday for 1,400 more job cuts to save an extra €100 million ($125 million), as it battened down the hatches for another difficult year in 2013. “2013, as it looks today, is probably going to be the toughest year that the wind industry has seen for a number of years,” Chief Executive Ditlev Engel said. Engel has been under intense pressure to avoid any further disappointments after profit-warnings in October last year and in January bruised investor confidence. Production problems and delays in delivering projects wiped out profits last year and caused a shake-up in top management with the replacement of the chief financial officer and chairman and appointment in July of rationalization expert Jean-Marc Lechene as chief operating officer. Vestas said on Wednesday it now expects to cut its workforce to around 19,000 by the end of 2012 instead of an earlier target of 20,400 and lowered its forecast for shipments of turbines this year to around 6.3 gigawatts from an earlier prediction of about 7 GW.

MTC announces advanced machining capabilities for Corning Macor glass

Morgan Technical Ceramics announces its advanced machining capabilities for Corning Macor machineable glass–ceramic, a material well known for its excellent physical properties, high dielectric strength, electrical resistivity, and ability to withstand high temperature while providing tight tolerance capability. MTC has developed and supplied components manufactured from Macor for use in ultrahigh- or constant-vacuum environments, as well as in aerospace and nuclear applications. Fixtures for high-heat electrical cutting operations are also excellent uses for the material. More recently, producers of medical components are using the material in complex ceramic assemblies for surgical tools, medical instrumentation, and therapeutic and diagnostic equipment. The material can be machined to a surface finish of less than 20µ in. and polished to a smoothness of 0.5µ in. Machining can be done quickly and inexpensively, with no requirement for post-machining firing.

SB LiMotive joint venture to be disbanded; Bosch to step up its activities in the development and production of efficient battery technology

Bosch is redefining the focal points of its activities to develop and produce batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles. In light of changing market structures, this will allow Bosch to make the best possible use of its own capabilities, as well as to develop them further. For this reason, the two parent companies of the SB LiMotive joint venture have agreed to reorganize their collaboration and future business relationship. The agreement is subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities. In future collaboration with its former joint venture partner, steps have been taken to ensure that all development and supply agreements will be continued. In addition, the parties have agreed to grant each other access to patents. The entire battery systems business will be transferred to Bosch, including all components, such as the crucial battery management system. Bosch will take over the subsidiary SB LiMotive Germany GmbH. Based in Stuttgart, it focuses on systems engineering, battery management systems, prototyping, marketing, and sales. At the same time, Cobasys will be integrated into Bosch. Bosch plans to further expand its activities relating to electrochemistry and the production of lithium-ion battery cells. This will enhance capabilities relating not only to batteries for electromobility, but also to the stationary energy storage devices of the future. The establishment of a manufacturing facility in Europe is a further important component of Bosch strategy. The aim is to efficiently combine the know-how of German and European suppliers when it comes to materials and the construction of complex manufacturing facilities.

Emirates Glass launches self-cleaning glass projects in Turkey

(Glass Interantional) Emirates Glass has launched its first self-cleaning glass projects in Turkey. Emirates Glass has received orders worth Dhs20m ($5.4 million) for projects that require the installation of self-cleaning glass. These include Hamp, I-Tower, Gold Tower, Nida Tower, and Gursan. EGL is currently working with development company Feryapi on two projects, I-tower and East and West. Ziad Yazbeck, senior vice-president, Sales and Marketing, Glass LLC, said: “The construction market in the Gulf is picking up pace once again. Leveraging the escalating demands for high quality glass in Turkey, the win of key purchase orders has helped us establish a strong foothold in Turkey.” Earlier this year, EGL inaugurated a Dhs160m ($43.5 million) coating line to increase production capacity to 3.5 million square meters. EGL is a processor of premium architectural flat glass products and a subsidiary of Glass LLC.


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