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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: October 14, 2008

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North America


Arabian American Development Co. has completed construction on its South Hampton Resources petrochemical plant expansion as has begun producing product.  The expansion in Texas enables the company to meet the pent-up demand for its petrochemical products and to target new international customers while maintaining its leadership position in North America.

Plant Explosion

Iowa has fined Cambrex Corp. more than $6,000 for safety violations after a fire and explosion at its plant in Charles City, Iowa last fall.  One worker was seriously burned and five others were treated for smoke inhalation.  Iowaís Occupational Safety and Health Bureau determined there was insufficient training of employees in the cleanup and inadequate notification and documentation of possible hazards for visiting outside representatives.


New Facility

Air Products has commissioned its new hydrogen fueling station and two hydrogen-powered buses as a part of its Hydrogen Education Initiative.  The Hydrogen Education Initiative, funded largely by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), will be managed by the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  The program is intended to promote energy independence and a cleaner environment while educating the public on the benefits of, and advancements in, developing a hydrogen economy.

Federal Ruling

Eastman Chemical Co. will continue production of certain PET resins at its Columbia, South Carolina plant following a favorable ruling by the U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware.  The court denied a request for a preliminary injunction filed by Fort Mill, South Carolina-based Wellman Inc., which sought to stop production of the resin.



BASF Catalysts has completed a de-bottlenecking project that has increased capacity at its facility in Tarragona, Spain. The 25% capacity increase will help meet growing global demand for polypropylene catalysts.

New Plant

Dow Chemicals is evaluating the potential of building a multi-billion dollar plant in Darwin Harbour, Australia.  The Inpex gas plant that is proposed for the Blaydin Point area makes Darwin Harbour an attractive place for Dow to do business.  If they are able to reach a business arrangement with Inpex, Dow will be more likely to build in Darwin Harbour.

New PE Resin

LyondellBasell Industries has launched a new polyethylene adhesive resin that it says will address customer needs in the rapidly expanding pipe coatings industry.  The new resin, Lucalen G3710E, is used as an adhesive layer in three-layer coating applications between fusion-bonded epoxy resins and an HDPE top-coat material.  It features improved coating properties like better adhesion and excellent peel strength.


ExxonMobil Chemical has completed a 130,000 tons/year capacity expansion at its Exxsol hydrocarbon fluids plant in Jurong Island, Singapore.  This expansion helped increase capacity at this site to more than 500,000 tons/year.

New Facilities

Air Liquide is investing EUR45 million in a new Air Separation Unit with a capacity of 850 tons/day of oxygen.  The unit will be in Panipat, India and will also produce liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon.  It is scheduled to be commissioned by July 2009.  The company will also invest EUR30 million in a new Air Separation Unit in Malaysia.

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