HOUSTON, Sept. 17, 2002 - Equistar Chemicals, LP, today announced it has signed a licensing and collaboration agreement with The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) to develop and commercialize a new metallocene catalyst technology that creates an elastomeric resin using propylene as a feedstock. Elastomers provide elasticity to products such as athletic clothing, consumer packaging and impact-resistant automotive and industrial components.
Under the terms of the agreement, Equistar will receive a license to P&G's proprietary metallocene catalyst technology and will collaborate with P&G to bring the new elastomeric products to commercialization.
The new technology will create the first family of homopolymer polypropylene resins with elastomeric properties. The technology is targeted for use in applications such as packaging, health and hygiene, non-woven fibers, automobile interiors, construction, housewares and wire and cable markets.
"Nothing like it exists in the marketplace," explained Rick Fontenot, vice president of research and development for Equistar. "The development of this revolutionary new product is in response to the market needs for softer polymers, particularly in applications requiring soft touch and resiliency. While this new technology is in the early phases of development, the initial product performance results have been impressive."
P&G has been working in the laboratory on this catalyst technology for approximately three years. By collaborating with Equistar, P&G plans to move the technology from the laboratory through scale-up and commercialization.
"We selected Equistar because they have one of the most extensive applications laboratories in the country, as well as extensive catalyst development capabilities and world-class plant operations," said Fernando Benvegnu, vice president - corporate R&D, The Procter & Gamble Company. "We are confident that by working with Equistar we will be able to bring this new technology to market in the next two or three years."
According to Ed Dineen, Equistar's senior vice president of chemicals and polymers, "Our goal is to work with P&G and our customers to develop a new generation of products based on this unique technology. By working with a world leader in consumer products, and through the leverage of existing commercial relationships, we believe we have assembled a team that will open the window on an entirely new family of resins."
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