Arkema is restructuring and cutting 28 jobs at its Chantonnay, France-based Soveplast polyvinyl chloride (PVC) profiles subsidiary. The site’s competitiveness is being affected by the complexity of its production range and manufacturing costs that cannot be passed on in its sales prices. Some current production activities at the site will be halted and central services of the site will be merged with those of the nearby Sable-sur-Sarthe site to further reduce costs.
Shasun Chemicals & Drugs has decided to raise Rupees (Rs) 198 million ($4.5 million) through an issue of 2.25 million warrants at Rs 88 each, which can later be converted into shares worth Rs 2 each. The company recently signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences for the manufacture and sale of a generic version of an HIV/AIDS drug, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, using Gilead’s proprietary technology.
Pak-Iran Joint Investment Company (PIJIC), a new joint-venture company between Iran and Pakistan, is considering establishing refineries and petrochemical projects. PIJIC is focusing on naptha-based cracker projects that will probably be built in Pakistan. There is also the possibility to invest in LNG, LPG, coal-power generation, gas pipeline and mineral projects.
The Philippines government plans to draft chemical control orders (CCOs) for several more chemicals. A CCO regulates the use, manufacture, import, export, transport, processing, storage, possession and wholesale of toxic chemical substances. The chemicals that will be issued CCOs include arsenic compounds, vinyl chloride, hexafluorbenzene and chromium VI.
Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology will start up one cracker complex each in Taiwan and somewhere in the Middle East in 2015. The Taiwan plant will be at Taixi, Yunlin County, and locations in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are being evaluated for the Middle East plant. The company wants to bring the units on stream at the same time for efficiency. Even though there may be some overlap in downstream products, the complexes are intended to complement each other. Most of the output from the Middle East plant will be shipped back and used in Taiwan. The $12.7 billion Taiwanese project includes a 300,000 barrels/day and a 1.2 million ton/year naphtha cracker. Twenty three petrochemical units would be built to produce synthetic resins, rubber, fiber, packaging materials and specialty chemicals, like solvents. The Middle East project could include aromatics, polyvinyl chloride, purified terephthalic acid and monoethylene glycol.
Thailand’s Energy Ministry awarded petroleum concession rights to four consortiums, allowing them to explore for petroleum in the Gulf of Thailand as well as in onshore blocks. The winners included Pearl Oil Esarn, Northern Gulf Oil, Occidental Exploration Pte., and Pan Orient Energy Corp. The operators will have to pay approximately $19 million for a six-year exploration concession for each block. If petroleum is discovered, they will have to apply for production rights, which would be valid for 20 – 30 years.
The Dow Chemical Company has opened its first ever production facility in Russia in Kryukovo, outside Moscow. The plant will produce the company’s STYROFOAM brand extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation boards for Dow Building Solutions, one of Dow’s market-facing business units. The company is already working on a second production facility in Russia. Dow and Izolan recently announced the formation of a joint venture company, Dow Izolan, will provide customer-tailored, polyurethane systems products to a growing customer base. The plant will be opened in the Vladimir area within the next two years.
Archer Daniels Midland Company will convert its Spyck, Germany rapeseed crushing facility to a multi-seed crushing facility. The multi-seed crushing plant will be able to crush both rapeseed and sunseed to enhance the product portfolio offering to food oil customers. The expansion is scheduled to be complete in April 2007.