The Egyptian parliament has recommended a relocation of Agrium Inc.ís $1.2 billion fertilize plant from Damietta. Residents have feared pollution, prompting the recommendation that it be moved to another suitable industrial zone.
Bayer AG plans to invest $156 million in its Brazilian operations through the end of next year. The company plans to invest $62 million in its Belford Roxo plant for modernization and technical upgrading of the production facilities for plastics precursors and crop protection products as well as overall infrastructure. The additional $93 million will be used at other company sites in the country.
Shell announced the first start-up using its new Shell OMEGA (Only Mono-Ethylene Glycol Advanced) process technology. The process uses catalytic conversion of ethylene oxide to monethylene glycol (MEG) as opposed to the traditional thermal conversion approach. The start-up was at Lotte Daesanís chemical manufacturing facility in Daesan, Korea.
LyondellBasell Industries plans to expand its global polypropylene (PP) compounding capacity to 1.2 million tons/year by the end of 2009, a growth rate of more than 30%. The capacity boost will occur as a result of opening a new plant in Guangzhou, China and Damman, Saudi Arabia as well as further expansion at existing sites in Suzhou, China; Rayong, Thailand; and Ensenada, Argentina. They are also considering additional plant investment options for Russia and India.
Ashland Inc. is joining Sud-Chemie AG in a metal-casting joint venture that will include three of the companiesí business units. Each will hold a 50% share in the venture that will be headquartered in Venlo, the Netherlands. The joint venture will combine Ashlandís Casting Solutions business group, Sud-Chemieís foundry-related businesses and Ashland-Sudchemie-Kernfest GmbH, a joint venture formed by the two companies in 1970. The deal is expected to close early next year.
Restructuring and expense reduction initiatives
Ferro Corporation is taking additional actions to rationalize manufacturing and reduce expenses worldwide. It will discontinue manufacturing tile frits and tile color products at its facilities in Americana, Brazil by the end of June 2008. It will continue to product porcelain enamel frit and glass color at glaze products at that plant. Color products required by Brazilian customers after June will be provided by the companyís facilities in Mexico and Spain. The company will also take additional actions in its Inorganic Specialties business, primarily in Europe and Asia.