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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: July 22, 2010

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North America


The Saskatoon Community Foundation, which provides grants to charitable organizations throughout the city, received a $300,000 donation from Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. The donation will make the company the title sponsor of the PotashCorp Mayor’s Cultural Gala, the foundation’s signature event. The foundation is allowed to award the money as it chooses and a representative of the foundation said it will likely go to groups that focus on youth and education, two main targets of PotashCorp donations.


Contribution Cut

For the first time in years, Kanawha County Commission has declined to fund the Chemical Alliance Zone, a South Charleston, West Virginia-based group that promotes the chemical industry in the region. The county’s extremely tight budget was given as the reason the $25,000 contribution wasn’t made this year. The Chemical Alliance Zone found out about the funding cut after submitting an invoice for the $25,000. The funding was included in the county commission’s preliminary budget in March, but was stripped from the final budget that was approved in June. A representative from the Chemical Alliance Zone said a single-year funding cut shouldn’t have a detrimental effect on the group, but continued funding cuts would be a concern.  


Memorandum Of Understanding

NOVA Chemicals has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hess and Mistral to purchase and transport ethane production from Hess’ Tioga Gas Plant in North Dakota via a proposed pipeline to Alberta, Canada. NOVA Chemicals will purchase 100% of the ethane produced at the Tioga Gas Plant under a long-term agreement. The initial pipeline capacity is planned to be approximately 45,000 barrels/day of ethane and will be expandable to approximately 60,000 barrels/day to handle future ethane supply from Williston Basin producers. The pipeline is expected to startup in the third quarter of 2012 and is subject to receipt of customary regulatory and other approvals.  


Gas Manufacturing Plant

Praxair is investing more than $15 million to open a manufacturing plant in Virginia. The company will locate its operation on the property of the Osage Bio Energy facility in Hopewell, Virginia. The project will create 17 jobs with an average salary of $50,000. Praxair plans to capture and purify carbon dioxide from the bio energy facility and market it in applications like freezing food, making carbonation, and extracting natural gas from the ground.


Joint Venture

Ashland Inc. will form a 50-50 joint venture to produce foundry chemicals with Sud-Chemie AG. The venture, ASK Chemicals GmbH, will be headquartered in Germany. Sud-Chemi will manage the operations of the venture, which should employ about 1,300 people. The deal is expected to close near the end of the year.


Oil Equipment

GE has received a $160 million contract from PNBV-Petrobras Netherlands B.V. to supply equipment for offshore drilling. GE will supply gas turbine and compressor equipment for deployment in two floating production, storage and offloading vessels. The vessels will support production of 360,000 barrels of oil/day and are scheduled to come online in 2013. The GE equipment will be manufactured in Florence, Italy.


New Desulfurization Process

Keyuan has completed and placed in service a new desulfurization process at its current refining facility for BTX aromatics. By reducing the sulfur content, the company will be able to realize higher selling prices and improved margins on some of the company’s light BTX aromatics.

Chemical Fertilizer Plant

The large-scale chemical fertilizer plant at PetroChina Tarim Oilfield Company has successfully commissioned. The operation will facilitate the utilization of the abundant gas resource of the Tarim Basin, promote upstream and downstream integrated development of the Tarim Oilfield, meet the demands of agricultural development in Xinjiang, and drive local economic and social development. The plant is expected to product 450,000 tongs of synthesisammonia and 800,000 tons of urea every year.

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