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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 28, 2008

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North America

Job Cut

Invista plans to lay off 400 of the 500 workers at its nylon plant in Seaford, Delaware by the middle of next year.  The restructuring of the plant won’t start until next year, but the company wanted to give employees and the community as much notice as possible of the change.  The restructuring will focus on a part of the business that has been more successful – the manufacturing of a type of industrial fiber used in military apparel and conveyer belts used in paper manufacturing.  The company will also convert the plant from being coal-run to natural gas at a cost of more than $15 million.

Right-to-Know Reporting Regulation

The EPA has finalized the reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).  The changes include clarification on how to report hazardous chemicals in mixtures and changes to Tier I and Tier II forms.  The final rule does not address the EPA’s proposed exclusion from particular notification requirements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and EPCRA for releases of hazardious substances in the air where the source of the release is animal waste at farms.  That proposal will be addressed in a separate rulemaking package.


Aearo Technologies has decided to relocate some of its work from Chickasha, Oklahoma to Plymouth, Indiana.  Aearo Technologies is a 3M Company that manufactures industrial safety equipment and will add an additional 54 jobs in Indiana by 2011.

Supply Deals

Air Products & Chemicals Incorporated has signed a long-term deal to supply Exxon Mobil’s refinery in Baytown, Texas with hydrogen.  Financial terms were not disclosed, but the arrangement begins in April 2010.  The company will also supply hydrogen to Exxon’s refinery in Baton Rouge.  Air Products operates a pipeline network from the Houston ship channel to Lake Charles and from Baton Rouge to east of New Orleans.


Petrochemical Complex

Sinopec plans to build a petrochemical complex in Hangzhou, China in three to five years.  The company has signed a cooperation agreement with the municipal government of Hangzhou for the project.  The $1.5 billion complex will include a small refinery producing olefin, solvent oil and lubricants.

Joint Venture Cleared

The European Commission cleared the creation of a joint venture between Dow Chemical Co. and a unit of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.  Dow and Petrochemical Industries Company will jointly control the new company that will manufacture and market polyethylene, ethylenamines, ethanolamines, polypropylene and polycarbonate.

Shift to Sugarcane

Shiseido Co. will shift entirely from oil-based polyethylene to sugarcane-derived polyethylene for its cosmetics containers beginning in 2011 and lasting several years.  This will help the company reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent.  Shiseido has signed an accord with Braskem SA to jointly develop cosmetics containers made with sugarcane-derived polyethylene.

Plant Expansion

Technip has been awarded a lump-sum engineering and procurement contract to expand an ethylene plant in Kstovo, Russia.  The contract, from the Sibur Neftehim subsidiary of Sibur Moscow Holding, is worth approximately EUR45 million.  In the plant’s first phase, it will have a capacity of 360,000 tons/year and in the second phase, 450,000 tons/year.

New Plant

Cabot Corporation is building a new fumed silica manufacturing facility in Tianjin, China.  The facility is a project of Cabot Bluestar Chemical Co., Ltd., a joint venture between Cabot Corporation’s wholly owned subsidiary, Cabot (China) Limited and China National Bluestar (Group) Corporation, a part of the China National Chemical Group.  The joint venture will invest approximately $40 million to build the facility with a capacity of approximately 7,000 metric tons/year.  The facility will be commissioned in mid 2010.

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