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christa.jpg (5628 bytes) Chemical Industry News Editor Christa Semko
Every two weeks, Christa will bring you the latest chemical industry news from around the world.  If you have a press release that you'd like to share with us, please mail it to us through our online contact form here.

Dateline: August 7, 2007

Technically Speaking

North America

Halliburton has acquired the entire capital share of PSL Energy Services Limited (PSLES).  PSLES is a provider of pipeline and well intervention services, including flange management and bolting, leak testing, pre-commissioning services, hydrotesting, hydraulic workover, coiled tubing, slickline and wireline, and pumping services.

Oil States International, Inc. has acquired the assets of Schooner Petroleum Services, Inc.  The assets totaled $67 million, subject to customary post-closing adjustments, cash and a $6 million seller’s note.  Schooner provides completion-related rental tools and services through 11 locations in Texas, Louisiana, Wyoming and Arkansas.

Chemical gasification
Fluor Corporation was selected by Eastman Chemical Company to provide front-end engineering and design (FEED) work for a $1.6 billion gasification project in Beaumont, Texas.  Eastman will be the developer, operator, co-investor and customer of the project.  The facility, which is scheduled to be online in 2011, will primarily use petroleum coke instead of natural gas to produce industrial chemicals (including methanol, hydrogen and ammonia) used in a variety of consumer-end products.

Codexis, Inc. has acquired BilCatalytics, Inc.  BioCatalytics is a private company that has produced custom and off-the-shelf enzymes used in chemical process manufacturing by pharmaceutical and fine chemical companies.  The acquisition combines two companies focused on biocatalysis, a high-growth clean technology that uses specialized enzymes to accelerate and improve the economics and environmental impact of chemical reactions.


Brazil state-run Petrobras will acquire petrochemical group Suzano Petroquimica.  The acquisition will result from an investment of $1.4 billion via payments to Suzano Holding and minority shareholders.

Start up
ExxonMobil Chemical Technology Licensing LLC and Thai Paraxylene started the first licensed application in Thailand of ExxonMobil’s new Olgone technology.  The Olgone process was implemented at Thai PX’s Sriracha petrochemical complex and removes olefinic contaminants from a heavy reformate feed, replacing a traditional clay treatment process.  The mixed xylenes separated from the treated heavy reformate are converted to paraxylene as the final product.

Technology supplier
Dresser-Rand Group Inc. will supply advanced turbomachinery for a BP floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel at Skarv Field.  The $154 million contract includes the supply of gas turbine packages for power generation and gas compression. 

Joint venture
The Dow Chemical Company and Solvay S.A. will create a joint venture for the construction of a hydrogen peroxide plant in Thailand.  The new plant, scheduled to be operational in 2010, will serve as a raw material source for the manufacture of propylene oxide.  The plant will be the largest in the world, with a capacity of more than 330 kilotons/year of hydrogen peroxide at 100% concentration.

New plant
The Dow Chemical Company and BASF Aktiengesellschaft are in negotiations for the construction of a world-scale, 390 kilotons/year propylene oxide manufacturing facility in Map Ta Phut, Thailand.  The plant would use Dow and BASF’s jointly developed hydrogen peroxide propylene oxide (HPPO) technology.  Propylene would be supplied from the liquids cracker that Dow and The Siam Cement Group are building in Thailand that should be operational in 2010.

Technically Speaking

What factors should be compared when evaulating cooling tower bids?

Examining the following factors should allow for a reasonable evaluation of cooling towers:

  • Purchased cost
  • Installed cost
  • Fan energy consumption
  • Pump energy consumption
  • Water use
  • Water treatment costs
  • Expected maintenance costs
  • Worker safety requirements
  • Environmental safety
  • Expected service life

Cooling Tower Fundamentals, SPX Cooling Technologies

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