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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: May 13, 2008

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North America

Polypropylene project

PL Propylene LLC, a PetroLogistics company, has started a project to construct a 1.2 billion pound capacity propane dehydrogenation plant to produce propylene.  The facility will be located in the vicinity of the Houston Ship Channel at the site of the former Houston Olefins Plant recently acquired by PL Propylene from ExxonMobil Oil Corporation.  The infrastructure, logistics and certain processing units from the former plant will be used as a platform for the project.  The project will be completed in mid-2010 and the plant will produce both chemical grade and polymer grade propylene with extensive pipeline connectivity to propylene consumers.  It will also produce commercial quantities of hydrogen and other co-products.

Production shift

LyondellBasell Industries will stop producing polypropylene at its Morris, Illinois plant in the fourth quarter of 2008.  Production will be shifted to other sites.  The facility’s existing polyethylene production will not be affected.


Eastman Chemical Co. has completed the expansion of its specialty co-polyester capacity at its manufacturing site in Columbia, South Carolina.  The additional production is expected to come on-line this June.


Hydrogen plant

Linde North America has opened its new hydrogen plant in Saraland, Alabama.  The plant will supply Shell Chemical LP with hydrogen for upgrading heavy gas oil at its 80,000 barrel/day refinery.

Training center

Petrofac has opened a new training center in Houston, Texas.  The facility is equipped to meet the health and safety and emergency response training needs of the oil and gas industry there as well as service other industries within the energy sector.  A range of courses are available to prepare individuals and organizations for major emergencies. 


Joint venture

Chemserve and MeadWestvaco Corp. will partner on a joint venture with Resitec Industria Quimica Ltda.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but will broaden Resitec’s product offerings and strengthen MeadWestvaco’s and Chemserve’s presence in South America.  The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.


Approximately 200 people demonstrated in Pengzhou, China against the building of a petrochemical plant they believe will pollute their city.  The protest march lasted two hours and was peaceful.  The protestors are opposing plans to build an 800,000 ton/year ethylene plant and oil refinery.  The government has already approved the refinery’s construction and says the necessary research on potential impact has been completed and shows no sign of harm to its surrounding environment.

Joint venture

NOVA Chemicals has signed a letter of intent with Reliance Industries Ltd. to form a building and construction joint venture.  The joint venture will leverage NOVA’s green building and construction technology to design, engineer and build a range of high-efficiency structures in India.  The building and construction systems and component parts would be based on expandable polystyrene that would minimize resource consumption while decreasing on-going energy demand by as much as a third.  The companies expect the new venture to be operational by the third quarter of this year following the finalization of formal agreements.


The Coatings, Adhesives & Specialties Business Unit of Bayer Material Science plans to spend nearly $50 million to expand production of waterborne dispersions.  Waterborne dispersions, including radiation-cured products, are used in compounding industrial coatings for applications in painting items from wood to mass-transit vehicles as well as in adhesives.  Later this year, the company plans to bring a new production plant for polyurethane dispersions on stream.  The plant will be located in Shanghai, China and have an annual capacity of 20,000 metric tons.

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