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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: September 29, 2009

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North America

Plant Closure
Chemtura Corp. has asked a New York
bankruptcy court to let it consolidate operations at its Bio-Lab Inc plant in Ashley, Indiana into a Georgia
factory. The company expects the closure to be approved as a cost-saving measure. The company is aiming to close the plant, which currently has 55 employees, within nine months.

Inadequate Systems
The T2 Laboratories explosion that killed four and injured 32 in December 2007 was likely caused by an inadequate cooling system and a system that couldnít contain an out-of-control chemical reaction. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board also said that although the plant was owned by a chemical engineer and chemist, neither had an educational background on reactive chemicals and were unaware of the potential for an accident. Plant employees were making a gasoline additive when a chemical reaction went out of control, raising the pressure inside the reactor, causing a massive explosion and chemical fire.


Line Sale
Dow Chemical Co. will sell a hollow sphere pigment product line to specialty chemicals maker Omnova Solutions Inc. and close two production units at a Freeport, Texas plant. Dow said styrene monomer and ethylbenzene production at the Texas location will close by the end of the year. About 60 employees will be affected, with about one-half reassigned to other positions. Others are expected to retire and the rest will be laid off.

H1N1 Solution

Integrated Environmental Technologies, Ltd. Has announced the successful results of its EcaFlo Anolyte solution, marketed as Excelyte, against H1N1. Specific testing performed by Microbiotest Labs of Sterling, Virginia concluded it is efficacious against the microorganism that causes swine flu (H1N1). The test results will be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for inclusion on its master label.


Joint Venture

The Wisconsin Department of Commerce and the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership have announced a joint venture to ramp up the number of state manufacturers that export their goods and services. Under the plan, the groups will combine their resources and expertise to help small and midsize manufacturers assess and develop their export potential. The effort will target manufacturers with outreach that includes personal contacts to manufacturers, public workshops and other communications to build awareness, knowledge and capabilities.  


Chemical Plant Auction
Ukraineís government has begun final preparations to sell a key chemical plant despite a presidential order banning the sale. The State Property Fund has begun examining bids from one Russian and two Ukrainian companies to buy the Odessa Port chemical plant, which specializes in ammonium production. The bids can from a Sept. 29 auction. The starting price is set at $470 million.

Chemical Dump
Three people have died and an additional 17 required medical treatment after they were exposed to bags of toxic chemical illegally dumped by a factory in eastern China. Four of the people sickened were children who played near the chemical, 2,4-dinitrophenol. The three individuals killed were all transporting garbage bags when they fell ill.


Air Products and Samsung Engineering have secured a contract for an air separation unit to supply National Industrial Gases Co. The air separation unit will produce 3,550 tons/day of oxygen, 3,600 tons/day of nitrogen, and 150 tons/day of argon. It will be located at National industrial Gasesí facility in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia. It is expected to be on stream in 2011.


A. Schulman, Inc is expanding capacity for engineered plastics at its San Luis Potosi, Mexico facility. The expansion will enable the company to more effectively serve its customers in Mexico, Latin America and throughout North America. The additional 5 million pounds capacity will be focused on specialty engineered nylons, polyesters and high-performance alloys. The expansion is expected to come on line during the second quarter of fiscal 2010.

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