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Dateline: April 19, 2005

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

Chemical Industry News from the U.S.

BICI investing in Virginia facility
Boehringer Ingelheim Chemicals, Inc. (BICI) is investing in its manufacturing facility in Petersburg, Virginia to install capacity to produce phenylephrine hydrochloride, an active pharmaceutical ingredient used in most nasal decongestion medications.  This will be the first time BICI manufactures phenylephrine hydrochloride in the USA.  The project involves equipment installation as well as transferring the company's proprietary and patented production process and technology from its facility in Ingelheim, Germany to Petersburg.  Demand for phenylephrine hydrochloride is growing worldwide because of the increased need to replace pseudoephedrine - a precursor chemical that when misused can be used to make methamphetamine or "speed" - in cough and cold products. 

Kraton Polymers increases capacity
Kraton Polymers' Belpre, Ohio and Berre, France plants will have increased capabilities for Kraton G polymers by nearly 10,000 tons in response to rising demand from the adhesives, compounding, packaging and polymer modification industries. 

BOC to supply hydrogen
The BOC Group will invest $40 million in equipment and pipelines to supply hydrogen to the Premcor Refining Group Inc.'s 170,000 barrel/day oil refinery in Lima, Ohio.  Construction will begin this quarter with hydrogen operations planned to start during the second quarter of 2006.  Last month, BOC began construction of a $100 million hydrogen and utilities complex to supply BP and Sunoco oil refineries in Toledo.  That plant will supply more than 120 million standard cubic feet per day of hydrogen is scheduled be completed in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Solutia's CPFilms business commissions new metallizing line
Solutia Inc.'s CPFilms business completed the installation and start-up of a new state-of-the-art metallizing production line at its manufacturing facility in Martinsville, Virginia.  The new metallizing line is housed in a specially constructed 9,000 sq.ft. addition to the Martinsville plant and is operated as a climate-controlled environment.  The metallizing line features digital optical monitoring capabilities to control the consistency of the metal deposition on the film with plasma treatment capability also incorporated.  Applications include solar control window films for commercial, automotive and consumer markets as well as static-dissipative packaging, graphic arts, automotive badging and specialty labels.

GE expands silanes
GE has expanded its capacity for high-technology silanes used in the production of silica tires and other high-performance products.  Additional capacity has been brought on at the Texas City, Texas plant. 

BP provides first details about events leading to Texas City explosion
BP shared details about the events leading up to the explosion and fire at its 460,000 bpd Texas City, Texas refinery where 15 people died and several dozen others were injured on March 23..  The cause of the explosion and fire has still not yet been determined, but BP believes that a substantial hydrocarbon vapor cloud came into contact with an ignition source.  Investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration are still researching the incident, however, they have not been able to enter the blast site because of benzene vapors being emitted from damage to the dome of a storage tank at an adjoining refinery tank farm.  The explosion occurred in the isomerization unit where low-octane blending feeds are converted into higher components for blending to unleaded regular gasoline.  At the time of the explosion, workers were starting up the raffinate splitter, which takes a non-aromatics stream from the aromatics recovery unit and fractionates it into light and heavy components.  The unit was in various stages of start-up and the majority of the deaths occurred for people who were in mobile work trailers planning the turnaround that were located nearby.

Chemical Industry News from India

Indian Government delays Monsanto
The Indian government deferred a decision on renewing marketing licenses for three Monsanto seeds and fresh approval for nine others, which jeopardizes sales of the transgenic seeds for the sowing season that begins in June.  The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee only approved two varieties of genetically modified cotton seeds, but deferred a decision on others.

Videocon to invest in oil activities
Videocon Industries Ltd. plans to invest Rs 20 billion on oil exploration and production activities, including Rs 8 billion abroad.  Videocon will invest Rs 12 billion into domestic oil exploration and production activities as well as focus on oil fields in Sudan and possibly the Ukraine. 

ONGC joint venture hopes to increase profits through direct sales
The joint venture of British Gas-Reliance-ONGC that operates the Panna, Mukta and Tapti gas fields is looking to earn an additional $120 million by selling gas at market rates between April 2005 and March 2006.  The total revenue expected is $550 million.  Of the total production of 11 million standard cubic meters of gas/day from the three gas fields, the joint venture will directly sell 4.8 million standard cubic meters of gas/day at $4,08 per million Btus and the remaining six million standard cubic meters of gas/day are to be sold to GAIL Ltd. at $3,86 per million Btu.


Technically Speaking

Where can I find information on the thermal design of boilers?

The best site that we've found for information on the thermal design of boilers and HRS systems is at:


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