Latest Content
Latest Community Postings
Recent Blog Entries
Community Downloads
ChExpress Blog
Ankur's Tech Blog
Community Admin Blog
Energy Efficient Hot and Cold Water
Electrical Process Tomography
Biodiesel: The Road Ahead
Methanol Plant Capacity Enhancement
Plate and Frame Heat Exchangers: Preliminary Design
Compressor Surging Under Control
Plant and Equipment Wellness, Part 1: Observing Variability

Share this topic:

header.gif (32012 bytes)


What you want to

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: February 6, 2007

Technically Speaking

North America

Supply Contracts
Oglebay Norton Company has secured two multi-year limestone supply agreements for application in the Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) market.  The contracts are with American Electric Power and FirstEnergy Corp.  By 2010, total tonnage supplied to these customers will be approximately 1.1 million tons/year.  FGD is the process of removing sulfur dioxide emissions from combusted coal to assist operations in complying with emissions requirements like the Clean Air Interstate Rule.  When high calcium limestone or lime is used in the FGD process, a generated by-product is synthetic gypsum, which is suitable for use in wallboard, cement and various agricultural applications.

New Unit
Aon’s Agribusiness and Food Systems Group has created a new unit to focus on the specialized risks associated with the bio-fuels industry.  Based in Kansas City, Missouri, the Agri-Fuels Risk Management Group (AFRMG) will aim to meet the risk management and insurance requirements for the rapid expansion of the renewable fuels industry.
Pioneer Companies, Inc. is expanding its St. Gabriel, Louisiana chlor-alkali plant by 25% from its current annual production capacity of 197,000 ECUs to 246,000 ECUs.  The project includes the conversion of the plant to membrane cell technology from the existing mercury cell technology.  The additional chlorine produced will be shipped to nearby customers by way of the company’s existing chlorine pipelines at the site.  The project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2008 and is estimated to cost approximately $142 million.
$10 Million Awarded
Calgon Carbon Corporation was awarded $10 million in a case it filed against Progress Capital Holdings, Inc., Florida Progress Corporation, and Potomac Capital Investment Corporation relating to the company’s purchase of the common stock of Advanced Separation Technologies Incorporated (AST) on December 31, 1996.  Calgon Carbon filed the law suit on January 12, 1998.  The jury award was based on Calgon Carbon’s claim that the defendants negligently represented the financial and operation condition of AST.  Calgon Carbon is seeking to have interest of approximately $5.5 million added to the award.

Joint Venture
Nova Chemicals will likely forgo an outright sale of its Styrenix unit in favor of a joint venture arrangement or a spin-off to shareholders.  Nova Chemicals reported an underlying loss of $9 million on sales of $1.64 billion, which excludes a $772 million write-down of assets in the Styrenix unit to reflect lowered estimate of the value of future cash flows.


Five trade unions in France representing Shell workers are protesting the company’s strategic review of its refining and petrochemical feedstock assets in France.  The company’s management has not officially said anything about selling any of the company assets under review, but the unions are raising concerns that divestments will take place.
BASF Coatings has taken over major parts of paints distributor Bilakksenteret in Lierstranda, Norway for an undisclosed sum.  Bilakksenteret’s sales activities in automotive refinish paints and non-paint products will be integrated into BASF Coatings in Sweden.
Merck KGaA is raising approximately €2 billion ($2.6 billion) by issuing rights shares to refinance its purchase of Swiss biopharmaceuticals company Serono.  Merck has decided to issue 13.3 million shares at €78 each.  Shareholders will be able to subscribe for 7.1 million of the new shares at a rate of four new shares for every 29 held.
Startup Delayed
Jam Petrochemical, a subsidiary of Iran’s National Petrochemical Co. (NPC) has delayed commercial production at is cracker due to limited funds and shortage of skilled manpower.  This is the fifth time Jam has delayed the startup of its 1.32 million tons/year cracker project at Assaluyeh, which can produce 350,000 tons/year of propylene.  The unit was originally expected to be completed by the end of 2005.  The startup date was later postponed to July 2006, then to late 2006 and then to the third quarter of 2007.  The polyethylene (PE) facilities downstream of the mixed-feed cracker have already achieved mechanical completion and will startup in August, using ethylene from the adjoining 1 million ton/year Arva Sasol cracker, which should go on stream in July.  The project includes a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) unit, an HDPE/linear low-density PE unit and a polypropylene (PP) unit, each with a capacity of 300,000 tons/year.  The PP project and the 440,000 ton/year ethylene glycol unit downstream of the cracker are expected to start up at the beginning of 2008.  A 115,000 ton/year butadiene unit was expected to go on stream in 2008, but money for the project is short with only 70% of the procurement completed.

R&D Center
DuPont plans to invest more than $22.5 million to construct its first research and development center in India.  The DuPont Knowledge Center will be in Hyderabad and will be home to more than 300 scientists and other employees.  A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with ICICI Knowledge Park for a long-term lease that will allow DuPont to construct its own facility on 15 acres of land in the park.  The center is expected to be fully operational in early 2008.  The center will focus on discovery research as well as applications development in a variety of areas.  Research will focus on “integrated science” – the addition of biology to traditional strengths in chemistry and materials science – to develop the company’s application pipeline in India and other emerging markets.  Initially, the focus will be on molecular biology, bio-informatics and polymer synthesis.

Technically Speaking

Is there a rule of thumb to estimate the footprint of a cooling tower during design phase?

Over the years, this one has seemed to stand the test of time:

Every million Btu/h of tower capacity will require approximately 1000 ft2 of cooling tower basin area.

Cooling Tower Fundamentals, SPX Cooling Technologies

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

Send this Page to a Friend

smalllogo.gif (4001 bytes)

  • Stay up to date on new content
  • Post questions and answers in our forums
  • Access downloads and attachments
  • Read member blogs and start your own blog
  • Connect with members via our friends feature
  • Receive and post status updates
Main Page

Terms of Use

Premium Content

Login  |  Signup   |  Learn More

Online Store

Engineering Software  |   Training Material  |  Continuing Education  | 
Maint Best Practices  |  Book Reviews

ChE Jobs

Free for Job Seekers

Free Articles

Newly Released  |  Popular Titles  |  Process Engineering  |  Process Design  | 
Process Safety | CPI Business  |  Engineered Writing   |  As I See It  |  Students


Sign up for the ChE Plus Newsletter

Message Boards

Interact with other professionals and students on our online message baords

Other Resources

Free Software  |  Physical Properties  |  Submit an Aritlce  |  Linking to Us  | 
Career Research  |  Why ChE?   |  Staff  |  Q & A's

Link Directories

ChE Links Technical Directory  |  Cheresources Partner Directory

Free Publications

Free Trade Publications from Cheresources

Advertise with Us

Advertise Your Company, Products, or Services

Contact Us

Send Us Your Feedback

The Chemical Engineers' Resource Page, 1442 Goswick Ridge Road, Midlothian, VA 23114, Email
All material is Copyright © 2008,