By Patrick Raleigh UT On-line/news editorParis-Total has positioned its Atofina fluorochemicals business-a supplier of blowing agents for the polyurethane industry, among other products-within a new independent business unit, called Arkema, which is to separate from the group by 2006.Arkema combines the former Atofina Industrial Chemicals business, which includes the fluorochemicals unit, with the group’s Vinyl Products and Performance Products businesses. With annual sales of around Euro5000 million and 19 300 employees, Arkema is to become independent from Total by 2006, said Thierry Desmarest, chairman and CEO of the oil and petrochemicals group.”The new unit will take advantage of its remaining time with Total to enhance its performance while putting in place the organization necessary for an independent company,” Desmarest commented in a 4 Oct Total statement.Arkema will, meanwhile, be part of a new Total Chemicals Division, operating alongside two other business units-Total Petrochemicals, Specialties. Total Petrochemicals covers the group’s petrochemical and fertilizers operations, while the Specialties unit combines the group’s Hutchinson rubber products, Cray Valley, Sartomer, Bostik adhesives and Atotech electroplating operations.Sartomer manufactures acrylate crosslinking coagents, functionalized polybutadiene resins, hydrocarbon resins, and plasticizers for high-performance rubber applications. The products find use in tyres, hoses, wire & cable, rubber rolls, belts, o-rings, sealants, windshield wipers, tank treads, golf ball cores and polyurethane elastomers, according to information on the company’s website.”
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