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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: May 27, 2010

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North America


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added more than 6,300 chemicals and 3,800 chemical facilities regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to a public database called Envirofacts. The Envirofacts database is the EPAís single point of Web access for information about environmental activities that may affect air, water and land in the U.S. and provides tools for analyzing the data. It includes facility name and address information, aerial image of the facility and surround area, map location of the facility, and links to other EPA information on the facility, including EPA inspection and compliance reports.


Rules Finalized

The Obama administration has finalized rules to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, cement manufacturers, and other industrial facilities. This move will force companies to invest in new pollution-control equipment to fight climate change. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, beginning in July 2011, any newly planned large facilities (those releasing 100,000 or more tons of carbon dioxide/year) will have to hold permits to emit greenhouse gases. In addition, large facilities that undergo modifications that would increase emissions by 75,000 tons or more will be subject to permitting requirements earlier, beginning in January 2011.


Copolyester Plant

Eastman Chemical Co. has opened a new plant exclusively dedicated to the production of Eastman Tritan copolyester at its headquarters in Kingsport, Tennessee. The plant expands production capcity of Tritan in alignment with increasing market demand for the material. Tritan is a new-generation copolyester that balances the properties of clarity, toughness, and heat and chemical resistance. It is manufactured without Bisphenol A (BPA).


Sherwin-Williams Co. will buy Becker Acroma Industrial Wood Coatings for an undisclosed sum. This move is part of the companyís goal of expanding its global footprint. Sweden-based Becker Acroma has annual sales of about $300 million. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals, but is scheduled to close in the third quarter.

Plant Closures

Pfizer has announced plans to reconfigure its worldwide plant network to create a fully aligned manufacturing and supply organization. This move will result in job losses of around 6,000 during the next few years. The first phase of the companyís Plant Network Strategy includes recommendations to cease operations at eight manufacturing sites in Ireland, Puerto Rico and the U.S. by the end of 2015. In addition, the company will reduce operations at six other plants in Germany, Ireland, Puerto Rico, the U.K. and the U.S. The planned reductions will increase manufacturing efficiency and lower costs by more effectively using resources and technology, improving plant processes, eliminating excess capacity, and better aligning production with market demand. In addition, product transfers will expand the roles of a number of the companyís other plants.      


Reservoir Monitoring System

Tendeka has completed the first installation of its optical reservoir monitoring system in a platform well offshore West Africa. The company installed its Sentinel distributed temperature sensing system combined with four SmartCell optical pressure and temperature gauges in a well offshore The Congo. When integrated with DTS, the gauges provide a complete real-time pressure and temperature profile of the reservoir, enabling the operator to optimize well performance.


Capacity Expansion

The Performance Products division of Huntsman Corp. will expand the manufacturing capacity of its JEFFAMINE polyetheramine manufacturing facility located on Jurong Island, Singapore. The planned expansion is anticipated to occur by the end of the third quarter of this year and will increase existing capacity by more than 50%.


Minority Stake

DuPont plans to buy a minority stake in Chinese Chemical Maker Changshu 3F Zhonghao New Chemical Materials Co. for an undisclosed amount. The deal is subject to final agreements and Chinese government approval. The acquisition will expand DuPontís reach into the fluorochemical market.


Tasnee hopes to arrange financing by the end of the year for a $1.7 billion downstream petrochemical company at Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The complex is set to be developed in partnership with Dow Chemical Co. Tasnee is presently studying the different funding options for the project, which will mainly product acrylic acid and acrylics but also other downstream products at a complex next to Tasneeís existing site at Jubail. Tasnee is looking at a 65-35 debt-equity split for its financing plans. The 225,000-ton/year acrylic acid plant is due to come on stream in 2013.


Abbott Laboratories is paying $3.3 billion for the generic drug business of Indiaís Piramal Healthcare. The move gives Abbott the leading position in the Indian pharmaceutical market, with a share of roughly 7%. Piramal will receive $2.1 billion of the cash up front and another $400 million annually during the next four years. The generics business represents about half of Piramalís annual sales.

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