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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 27, 2008

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North America

Kid-safe chemical act

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has stated that it supports the proposed Kid-Safe Chemicals Act of 2008, specifically enhancing the protection of children’s health, managing potential risks of chemicals in commerce, using a prioritized and tiered testing approach and rewarding business innovations.  It also believes the bill includes helpful provisions that would allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide confidential business information to state governments useful for their chemical management programs and provisions that aim to reduce the use of animal testing.  However, the ACC feels there are some impractical solutions that may not produce the benefits intended, including the “no harm” standard for all chemicals in commerce regardless of use or potential exposure and the bio-monitoring provisions that duplicate the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) efforts.

Joint venture

A $2 billion joint venture (Americas Styrenics LLC) between Dow Chemical Co. and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLP has opened in The Woodlands, Texas.  The newly formed company employs 600 people and is a 50/50 joint venture that combines six Dow polystyrene plants (in California, Connecticut, Ohio, Illinois, Brazil and Colombia) and two Chevron Phillips plants (in Louisiana and Ohio).

Long-term supply contract

Air Products has signed a new long-term supply contract between its subsidiary, Air Products Canada, Ltd., and U.S. Steel Canada, Inc.  In conjunction with this new agreement, Air Products will build a new air separation unit (ASU) with a high efficiency liquefier facility.  The new facility will be on stream in the fourth quarter of 2009.  It will supply more than 1,200 tons/day of gaseous oxygen for U.S. Steel’s operations.  The new high efficiency liquefier will produce more than 500 tons/day of liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen and increase pure liquid argon production capacity for North American customers.  The larger and more efficient facility will replace the original Air Products’ plant at the same location.

Production boost

Air Products and Chemicals Inc. and a partner will expand production at East Coast Oxygen, the company’s joint venture with Linde North America.  The companies will add a liquefying unit at the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania facility, increasing production capacity by about 600 tons/day.


Quaker Chemical Corp. is ready to move forward on its $19 million expansion project at its Middletown, Ohio facility.  The project has been in the works for more than a year, but groundbreaking for the 12,000-square-foot addition will occur this summer.  The expansion will triple production at the blending location and could double the number of employees (currently 40 people) within the next three years.


Coatings plant

PPG Industries Inc. plans to build an automotive and industrial coatings plant about 45 miles southwest of Moscow, Russia.  The plant will be fully owned by PPG and employ approximately 70 people.


FMC Corp. has agreed to buy the alginates and food blends business of International Specialty Products.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.  The deal includes a manufacturing plant in Scotland and the employees at that plant.  The business will be integrated into FMC specialty chemicals group’s biopolymer division.

Joint venture

BASF’s subsidiary Elastogran and the Kanoo Group have agreed to create a joint venture (Kanoo with 51% and BASF/Elastogran with 49%) under the operational lead of Elastogran.  The joint venture will acquire the polyurethane business of Multi Chemical Est. in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from the Al Hamid Group by the end of May.  Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed and it is still subject to approval by the relevant authorities.  The partners plan to construct a new polyurethane system house in Dubai Industrial City that will commence this year with concentrated production of PU systems by 2010.

Capacity expansion

BASF will double its manufacturing capacity for some of its alkylethonalamines (AEOA) by the middle of next year in response to increases in customers’ demand for these products.  Its range of AEOA specialties are manufactured in Ludwigshafen, Germany at their flexible, fully backward-integrated multi-product facility.

New plant

Rohm and Haas Company plans to build an acrylic emulsion facility in Nhon Trach, Vietnam in order to meet the fast-growing needs for the paints and coatings market.  The company plans to invest approximately $10 million for the facility which will be complete by the middle of next year.

Petrochemical complex

Petroperu has signed a memorandum of understanding with Petrobras and Braskem to study the feasibility of building a new multi-billion-dollar complex based on domestically sourced ethane.  They are envisioning a project that would produce between 700,000 and 1.2 million metric tons of polyethylene/year with startup in 2014 at a cost of about $2.5 billion.

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