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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 2, 2010

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North America


Bayer CropScience has agreed to pay fines and allocate money to improve its response to chemical accidents at its pesticide manufacturing plant in Kansas City, Missouri. The Environmental Protection Agency says that Bayer CropScience will pay nearly $40,000 in fines and spend another $100,000 to correct, prevent and respond to chemical accidents and releases.


Plant Construction

Westlake Chemical Corp. is proceeding with the previously announced construction of a new chlor-alkali plant at its vinyls manufacturing complex in Geismar, Louisiana. The new chlor-alkali unit is estimated to produce 250,000 electrochemical units annually. The construction costs are estimated to range between $250 million and $300 million, but will be partially funded by the Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds issued by the company. The project is targeted for start-up in the second half of 2013.



Air Products LLC has agreed to pay nearly $1.5 million in civil penalties to resolve hazardous waste mismanagement violations at its Pasadena, Texas chemical manufacturing facility. The settlement resolves the company’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act violations in transferring spent acid to the neighboring Agrifos fertilizer manufacturing plant. As part of the settlement, Air Products has agreed to continue to manage the spent acid onsite and not to ship it to Agrifos or any other facility not authorized to accept it.



Southwall Technologies Inc. has acquired Crown Operations International. The acquisition is part of Southwall’s focus on vertical integration to offer value-added products and services to its customers. Crown’s laminating and converting capabilities help simplify material logistics and facilitate the adoption of high-performance interlayers for volume production. Crown’s high-performance, heat-reflective interlayers improve the energy efficiency of laminated glass in buildings, homes and cars.


Acquisition of Stake

Petronas will acquire BP’s stake in two Malaysian chemical plants for $363 million. BP has agreed to sell its entire 15 percent stake in Ethylene Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. and 60 percent interest in Polyethylene Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. to Petronas. The plants are already operated by Petronas.


Grassroots Cracker

KBR has started up a 1.35 million metric tons/year steam cracker at Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company’s olefins plant in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia. KBR executed the engineering, procurement and construction management of the cracker.



Praxair (Thailand) Co., Ltd. is building a new, energy-efficient carbon dioxide plant in Map Ta Phut. The plant will have a capacity of 300 tons of liquid carbon dioxide/day and is scheduled to come on stream in the fourth quarter of 2011.


Hand Off

Vietnam Oil and Gas Group has officially received the Polypropylene Production Plant, the first petrochemical factory in Vietnam, in Quang Ngai, Vietnam. The $234 million plant was handed over by Huyndai Engineering Corp. The plant’s capacity is 150,000 tons/year, and it uses propylene obtained from the Dung Quat Oil Refinery to make polypropylene beads for the manufacture of household plastic products as well as in the automobile industry.

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