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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: November 13, 2007

Technically Speaking

North America

Emission Reduction

Eastman Chemical Co. is proposing installing additional air pollution control equipment on five industrial boilers at its Kingsport, Tennessee facility.  They are currently selecting an engineering firm, with construction scheduled to take place during 2009 – 2013.  The $200 million investment is part of the company’s $1.3 billion reinvestment plan called “Project Reinvest.”  Eastman is working with the Tennessee Division of Air Pollution Control (TDAPC) to improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas.  The air pollution control equipment will remove an estimated 90% of the sulfur dioxide emitted as a by-product from the burning of coal in the five boilers.  The technology will include installing spray dryer absorbers as well as replacing electrostatic precipitators with fabric filters.

Production Suspended

Union Carbide Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, will suspend production at its propylene manufacturing facility at St. Charles Operations in Hahnville, Louisiana.  The suspension is in anticipation of an expected decision to shutdown the facility by year end.  The planned shutdown will impact approximately 60 employees, however, it is expected that a large majority of them will be redeployed to other roles at St. Charles Operations.  Dow plans to fulfill its contractual obligations appropriately, but may not be able to maintain the current level of supply to all customers.

Potential EPA Violations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has notified Dow Chemical of potential violations at the company’s Midland, Michigan facility.  The violations are covered by the federal Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  The EPA says that the clean-air violations may have increased public exposure to hazardous pollutants, including ethyl and hydrogen chloride.


Monsanto Co. plans to invest $230 million to expand its Iowa seed corn operations during the next two years.  The company plans to improve existing DeKalb corn seed production sites in Boone and Grinnell as well as build a new DeKalb corn seed production plant in northeast Iowa.  These projects are expected to double the company’s Iowa corn seed production.


Ethylene Plant

GE Oil & Gas will supply three compression trains for a new, large-scale ethylene cracker plant in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia.  The Saudi Chevron Phillips Co. plant will have a capacity of 1.165 million tons/year when it enters commercial service in 2011.  The GE-supplied compression trains will consist of cracked gas, propylene refrigerant and binary refrigerant compressors.

Coal-Based Propylene Plants

GE Oil & Gas has been selected to supply compressor trains for two milestone projects in China featuring the world’s largest coal-based propylene plants.  The Shenhua Ningxiz Coal Industry Group’s plant the Ningxia province of western China and the Datang International Power Generation Co. Ltd.’s facility in Xilinguola, Inner Mongolia, will produce approximately 500,000 tons of propylene/year from coal when they enter commercial service in early 2009.

Petrochemical Project

ExxonMobil Chemical Co. has broken ground on its second world-scale petrochemical project in Singapore.  Project start-up is expected in early 2011.


A consortium led by state-owned China National Chemical (ChemChina) will acquire Australia’s Nufarm for approximately $2.8 billion.  After the sale, Nufarm will be combined with ChemChina’s agrochemical business to create what is being forecasted as the global leader in generic agrochemicals.

Food Flavor Manufacturing Plant

AED has opened the Middle East’s first plant to produce natural flavor ingredients for the food and beverages industry in Jafza.  The unit has been set up by Wild Flavors Middle East and includes manufacturing, warehousing and office space.  The plant has a capacity of 75,000 tons and will service the markets of the GCC, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, the Levant, North Africa and the Indian sub-continent.  The product range of natural ingredients includes flavor systems, flavors and extracts, fruit and vegetable preparations, colors, concentrates, sweetening systems and specialty ingredients like functional flavors and flavor keys.

R&D Center

Dow India plans to set up a Global R&D center at Chakan, Pune.  The Center is expected to be operational by 2008 and will employ 500 researchers by 2010.       

Technically Speaking

How can I calculate the release time for a gas pipeline if I know the gas composition, pipe diameter, and pipe length.

This topic has been covered by Milton Beychok on his website dedicated to air dispersion modeling.  See the article entitled "Calculating Accidental Release Flow Rates from Pressurized Gas Systems."  This method should give you the results that you need.

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