Industry News Editor Christa Semko Every two weeks, Christa will
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Eastman Chemical Co. is expanding its CHDM capacity by 25 percent at its Kingsport, Tennessee site. The company expects to complete the expansion in two phases, with the first phase to be completed in the middle of 2011 and the second in 2012.
Air Products has reached an agreement with the Staff of the Federal Trade Commission on the terms of a Consent Decree in connection with the acquisition of Airgas, Inc. The Consent Decree would permit Air Products to acquire Airgas subject to the divestiture of certain assets and would also permit, for a period of time, the closing of the acquisition prior to completion of the divestiture. The assets to be divested are primarily Airgas’ liquid bulk and on-site supply of atmospheric gases, including production and related assets.
Eastman Chemical Co. is confident it will find a buyer for its PET resin business and therefore the company’s Sandy Run, South Carolina plant by the end of the year. The plant hasn’t made a profit since 2005. Company officials have said that the sale of the business is not a testament to the Sandy Run operations, but is part of a global downturn in the plastics industry.
The Timken Company will invest approximately $50 million in its steel operations in Canton, Ohio. Beginning this year, the investment is for the installation of a new intermediate finishing line at the company’s Gambrinus Steel Plant and the expansion of the steel lay-down yard at its Harrison Steel Plant’s small-bar mill.
NuEarth Corporation has concluded its acquisition of AB Technology, SA. AB Tech, of Lokeren, Belgium, is a Northern European provider of “green” biodegradable cleaners and paint strippers. NuEarth plans to enhance and support the existing products of both companies. Both companies’ Boards of Directors have approved the acquisition and merger and subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to close later this year. The combined companies will operate under the NuEarth name and brand with corporate headquarters located in the United States.
The International Vinyl Acetate Company has started up the commercial operations of its Vinyl Acetate Monomer Plant in Jubail Industrial city in Saudi Arabia. The plant produces vinyl acetate monomer with an annual production capacity of 330,000 metric tons. The plant production is used in many industrial fields such as the production of adhesives, plastic products, internal and external plants and paper products.
W.R. Grace & Co. has opened a new manufacturing facility in China as part of its efforts to expand its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region. The Chongqing, China facility will manufacture cement additives and concrete admixtures. It will also have a quality-control lab and administrative and personnel offices.
Plant Start Up
The biomass-to-liquids (BTL) demonstration plant, jointly operated by the Oxford Catalysts Group and SGC Energia, at the biomass gasification facility in Guessing, Austria, is now up and running. The plant is designed for the small-scale distributed production of biofuels via the Fisher-Tropsch (FT) reaction.
Nigeria’s southeastern Imo state is planning to establish a Greenfield refinery. The refinery will be built in partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. Imo state has the highest gas deposit in Nigeria.
Vietnam’s deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has officially ratified plans to raise the annual capacity of Dung Quat Oil Refinery from 6.5 million tons of oil to 10 million tons of oil. The plans were drawn in tandem with the refinery’s investor, Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam). The new plans were agreed upon by the ministries of planning and investment, industry and trade, and construction and finance. Dung Quat is the country’s first oil refinery and has a total investment of $3 billion. The refinery currently has more than 1,000 employees.