Dow Building Solutions will reconfigure its polyisocyanurate (polyiso) assets in North America via reconfiguration of some sites. The Charleston, Illinois and Pennsauken, New Jersey sites are positioned for growth and technology upgrades. The Texarkana, Arkansas and Tracy, California sites are set for closure as a result of low asset utilization, low profitability and the need for significant investment compared to other opportunities. The Tracy facility will close in mid-December and the Texarkana facility will close in Mid-January.
Ineos Nova plans to shut down its Montreal, Quebec polystyrene production by the end of the year. The site has an annual production capacity of 120 million pounds of polystyrene.
New Business Unit
ExxonMobil Chemical Co. has formed a new specialty compounds and composites business to focus on the development, production and marketing of engineered polyolefin compounds. The portfolio includes a new line of ExxonMobil Performance Polyolefins for automotive applications. Products range from soft and flexible compounds to reinforced composites.
BASF opened two new manufacturing plants at its site in Freeport, Texas – a production line for polyamide 6 (nylon) and a plant for super absorbent polymers (SAP). The polyamide production line replaces a facility in Enka, North Carolina. The new line has an annual capacity of 120,000 metric tons/year with its caprolactam feedstock being supplied by another BASF plant at the Freeport site. The SAP facility is supplied with acrylic acid from another BASF plant at the Freeport site. This facility has a capacity of 180,000 metric tons/year and replaces existing facilities in Aberdeen, Mississippi and Portsmouth, Virginia.
Airgas Inc. plans to build a new 450 ton/day liquid carbon dioxide plant at the Shell Deer Park Refinery complex in Houston, Texas. The company signed a 15-year agreement with Houston-based Shell Oil Co. to have it supply the feedstock of raw carbon dioxide for the Airgas facility. The new facility will be used to purify and liquefy raw carbon dioxide for commercial and beverage-grade use.
Monsanto Co. plans to build a new processing plant and upgrade another in Nebraska, thereby doubling its biotech seed corn production in the state. The planned expansion will come as the result of a $155 million investment. The new plant will be built in York County between Utica and Waco, about 40 miles west of Lincoln. The new plant and the upgrades to the company’s Kearney facility should be completed by the end of 2009. The new, 145-acre plant will include three high-capacity seed dryers and green corn receiving lines as well as a 180-foot conditioning tower. The plant will be able to package approximately 1,200 bags of seed/hour.