Chongging Chemical and Pharmaceutical Holding (Group) Co., Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc. and another Japanese company are planning to invest CNY 2.1 billion in a joint-venture 850,000 ton methanol project in Chongging. The project is scheduled to start operation in 2010 and is expected to produce 1 million tons of methanol out of natural gas each year. The facility will also extend to the deep processing of methanol, including synthetic fiber production.
Akzo Nobel NV has completed its 8 billion pound takeover of Britain’s paint maker ICI. As part of the takeover, ICI has been delisted from the London Stock Exchange. Stockholders will receive payment for each share and a dividend per share.
Ethylene Unit Fire
A fire killed two workers and launched a search for two others at Japan’s biggest ethylene plant, forcing Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. to shutdown one of the two units at the facility in Kashima, Japan. The fire broke out near a furnace and firefighters were ultimately able to control the flames. The damaged unit has a capacity of 516,000 tons/year with the still operational unit producing 410,000 tons/year.
Columbian state oil company Ecopetrol plans to buy Columbia’s leading polypropylene firm, Propilco, for $690 million. Ecopetrol sees synergies between its oil operations and Proplico’s operations, hoping to advance new petrochemical projects in the country.
Belgium Aluminum & Glass Industries (BAG) plans to invest AED 80 million toward the construction of a new factory in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD). BAG plans to partner with Alcoa Group for the delivery of its Kawneer architectural system within the factory. The facility should be complete in May 2008 with a capacity of 360,000 square meters/year.
IPIC has awarded contracts worth $460 million to three companies to supply pipes for a domestic crude oil export pipeline connecting Abu Dhabi and Fujairah. The need for 225,000 tons of coated steel pipes will be met by Sumitomo of Japan, Salzgitter Mannesmann International of Germany and Jindal Gorup of India. The first delivery of the pipe will be in July 2008 with the whole contract completed in January 2009. The 360-kilometer pipeline is being constructing to transport up to 1.5 million barrels of oil/day from Habshan oil fields to Fujairah to bypass the Strait of Hormuz through which Gulf producers ship crude oil exports.
Basell has completed its acquisition of Lyondell Chemical, creating the world’s third-largest independent chemical company. Basell acquired Lyondell’s outstanding common shares for $48 each in an all-cash transaction, which, with debt assumed by Basell, is valued at roughly $20 billion. The transaction was previously announced in July.
Phosphoric Acid Plant
The Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative (IFFCO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Senegal government for the revival of a 6.6 lakh ton capacity phosphoric acid plant in Senegal. The Industries of Chimiques de Senegal (ICS) plant is a joint venture with the government of India holding 6.97%, IFFCO holding 19.1% and the government of Senegal with the remaining 47% of the equity stake. IFFCO will invest $100 million in the next three years for increasing the production to the optimal level of efficiency at approximately 600,000 tons/year. In addition, IFFCO will also provide a loan of $10 million to the company.