BASF is selling off several units in order to win European Union anti-trust approval to buy Ciba Holding. BASF agreed last September to buy Ciba for $5.35 billion, a move that augments the company’s presence worldwide. To make the deal meet approval requirements, BASF will sell its chemical plants in Ludwigshafen, Germany and Ciba units making synthetic dry strength agents, a Finland-based business making glue for the paper industry, the “know-how” for making and selling another pigment and divest a unit making light stabilizers for plastics manufacturers.
Officials in Yancheng city in China discovered last month that the water supply to the city’s 1.5 million residents had been polluted by phenol. As a result, they briefly cut the supply to hundreds of thousands of people. Environmental inspectors found that a chemical plant had been illegally discharging the compound into the city’s Xinyanggang River. As a result, 33 of the 317 chemical plants in the city will be shutdown.
ExxonMobil Chemical Co. has decided to build a technology center in Shanghai, China to provide product applications support for its growing business in the Chinese and Asian markets. The new technology center will be built and operated by ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Research & Development Company Limited, and will be located in the Shanghai Zizhu Science-based Industrial Park. Laboratories and product demonstration facilities at the center will provide applications technical service and a range of applications development capabilities. The center is expected to be operational in 2010.
BASF is starting up a new plant for the insulation material Neopor in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The plant has a yearly production capacity of 90,000 metric tons and works with a new process based on extrusion. The extrusion process will yield more uniformly sized granules and will permit a targeted setting of the panel properties. The insulating capacity of Neopor is up to 20 percent better than that of Styropor, helping to contribute to energy efficiency and the reduction of CO2 emissions.
Dow Europe has started up a new Solution Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SSBR) plant in Schokopau, Germany. The new facility includes a capacity rights agreement with JSR Corporation. The new plant has a production capacity of 60 kilo-tons.
Methanol Plant Boilers
China Energy Recovery Inc. has completed an order to make a series of waste heat recovery boilers for Jiangsu Sopo Chemical Group. The waste heat recovery boilers are for Sopo Group’s new methanol production facility to support its main acetic acid manufacturing plant. The new plant has an annual production capacity of 600,000 tons.
LyondellBasell Industries has reaffirmed its ongoing participation in the development and construction of an integrated petrochemical complex and a Gas Separation Unit in the Atyrau region of Kazakhstan. The project is in partnership with SAT & Co. and KMGEP of Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries Ltd. The complex will include a world-scale ethane cracker, a propane dehydrogenation unit, a polypropylene plant and two polyethylene production facilities. The plants are scheduled to begin operations in 2014.