Dow Chemical Company plans to expand its facilities in Correggio, Italy, making the site Dow’s global research and development center for polyurethane systems formulation and application technology. The $20 million expansion is scheduled for completion in 2009, however is subject to appropriate government and regulatory approvals.
Coal to Methanol Plant
Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. is performing feasibility studies and devising plans for the potential development of a coal-to-methanol gasification plant in China. The plant would support the company’s facilities in China and address the region’s increased demand for clean petrochemical feedstocks.
BASF is raising its production capacity in Ludwigshafen, Germany for higher oxo alcohols by 80,000 metric tons to a total of 390,000 metric tons/year, which will be built up stepwise through the end of the first quarter of 2009. The additional capacity will be mainly used for the manufacture of plasticizers, whose production capacity BASF plans to raise by 40,000 metric tons to 300,000 metric tons/year by the second quarter of 2008. Plasticizers are added to materials like PVC to make them soft and elastic.
KazMunaiGas Exploration Production plans to build a $5 billion petrochemical complex in Kazakhstan as part of its diversification efforts. Plans are in their final stages and the company hopes to build the complex with joint venture partners. The facility is being designed to produce more than 1 million tons of ethylene, polyethylene and polypropylene.
Merck & Co. plans to invest $280 million towards construction of a vaccine plant in Carlow Town, Ireland. The plant will be the first stand-alone human vaccine facility in Ireland and is expected to be fully operational in 2011. As part of its operations, Merck also plans to cooperate with Irish universities on biologics production.
Sanofi-Aventis plans to build an influenza vaccine plant in Shenzhen, China. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2008, with the goal of producing seasonal influenza vaccines for the Chinese market by 2012. The facility is being designed for easy expansion to keep pace with anticipated market growth. In addition, it will be flexible enough to switch production for pandemic influenza vaccines.
Phosphate Acid Investment
Three Indonesian companies plan to invest $500 million in the construction of a phosphate acid factory in Morocco, Indonesia’s special envoy to the Middle East. The three companies are PT Petrokimia Gresik, Medco Energi Corporation and Bosowa Group. The investment will be made under a bilateral investment cooperation scheme where Indonesia will import semi-finished phosphate acid from Morocco, with the companies investing in the construction of an ammonia plant in Indonesia. The country is also exploring the possibility of forging the same kind of investment cooperation with Egypt.