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Dateline: February 8, 2005

Chemical Industy News from the U.S.
Chemical Industry News from India
Technically Speaking

Chemical Industry News from the U.S.

$210 Million to modernize and expand capacity
Nova Chemicals Corp. plans to invest in its flexi-cracker in Corunna, Ontario, Canada facility.  As a result, ethylene capacity will increase by 225 million to 400 million pounds per year to a total of up to 2 billion pounds.  Ethylene and propylene together will be raised by around 450 million pounds to a total of roughly 2.85 billion pounds.  The investment will result in plant modernization, more feedstock flexibility, improved energy efficiency, strengthened operating reliability as well as cost reductions.

$1 billion chemicals complex to set roots in Louisiana
Shintech plans to build a new chemicals complex in Iberville Parish, just south of Plaquemine.  The plant will make chlorine, caustic soda and vinyl chlorine monomer.

Plans for large-capacity air separation plant
Matheson Tri-Gas will build a large-capacity air separation plant in southern California, with plans to open it during the first quarter of 2007.

Agilent Technologies awarded research grant for chemical detection
A $930,000 Phase 1 research grant was awarded to Agilent Technologies by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency.  Agilent was one of 40 organizations selected from more than 125 submitted proposals.  The grant is for the research and development of a next-generation chemical-agent detection system - an Autonomous Rapid Facility Chemical Agent Monitor, which will be designed to monitor enclosed areas, including government buildings and transportation facilities, for chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial compounds.

Nova Chemicals Corp. plans expansion
Plans are underway to expand and raise capacity for Arcel moldable foam resin to 100 million pounds per year by the end of 2006.  A $60 million investment is planned this year to expand its performance products businesses in styrenics, with the Arcel upgrade being a large portion of this expense.  These investments are planned to respond to the near triple growth of the protective foampackaging market in the past two years.

Chemical Industry News from India

Reliance Industries focuses on exports versus expansion
Indian petrochemical giant Reliance Industries Limited is focusing its efforts on targeting the Pakistani consumer market.  Recently, Pakistan has included Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) and Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) in the positive list for imports from India, so the company is looking to export there.  Developing a petro-chemical project there is highly unlikely since it would require large investment and significant market demand, however Reliance is focusing its efforts on supplying the Pakistani consumers with the same products at much lower prices than their current suppliers.

Coal India and ONGC enter into a joint venture
In the equal joint venture, the two will develop an underground coal gasification facility.  It will be the first time this technology is tried in the country.  They will start a pilot project in the Sayal region under Central Coalfields (a subsidiary of Coal India), with the aim of extracting coal gases like methane, hydrogen and carbon dioxide from beyond the depth of 500 meters.  Current mining technology is only capable of mining coal to 400 meters, with an estimated two-thirds of reserves remaining unexploited.

Albany Molecular planning expansion
While currently undergoing expansion of its Singapore Research Center, Albany Molecular is planning to build another facility in Hyderabad, India.  They are looking closely at an option to purchase a 2.75 acre plot.  The initial focus of the facility is planned to be on custom synthesis and chemistry.  More substantial plans should be announced later this year.

Technically Speaking

Pressure and Storage Vessel Opening Compensation
The simplest method for estimating the amount of reinforcement required for openings for vessels is the "equal area method".  This method is permitted by most design codes and standards.  This method tends to provide an over-estimate for the compensation required.  (NOTE: over reinforcement can cause 'hard spots' and in some instances may reduce the fatigue life of the vessel.  This method is therefore only suitable as a 'first estimate'.)

Source: Mr. Dave Southall


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