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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: October 28, 2010

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North America


Valero will shut its Benicia, California refinery for five weeks early next year for plant-wide maintenance. The planned 36-day shutdown marks the first time since October 2004 that the facility has been completely idled for maintenance efforts.


Waste-to-Ethanol Plant

Enerkem Corp. has successfully concluded the U.S. federal environmental assessment requirements for its Mississippi waste-to-ethanol plant. This gives the company the green light to proceed with the Pontotoc, Mississippi project without the need for additional federal environmental assessment. Construction work for the plant is expected to begin in 2011.


Refinery Sale

ConocoPhillips will ramp up its sale of assets next year, including its refining properties. This is part of the company’s two-year plan to shore up finances. However, the company is also still looking for acquisition opportunities.


Eastman Chemical has agreed to sell its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin business to DAK Americas for $600 million. The sale includes two PET plants and a facility making the raw material purified terephthalic acid (PTA), in Columbia, South Carolina.


Research Center Closure

Eli Lilly & Co. will close the Lilly Singapore Center for Drug Discovery. The corporate research facility was inaugurated in 2002. The closure will affect 130 employees.


Job Cut

Clariant will consolidate a number of production sites and move its textile chemical business unit to Singapore. The changes will result in the loss of 100 jobs. By 2013, the textile chemicals management and global applications development team will move from Reinach, Switzerland to Singapore. A technical textiles and finishing applications development lab in Reinach will relocate to Muttenz, Switzerland. Other R&D staffers in Reinach there will transfer to Frankfurt, the firm's global hub for corporate R&D. And its paper specialties business unit will leave Reinach for Muttenz. To reduce costs and management complexity, Clariant also plans to close production sites in McHenry, Illinois; Delta, British Columbia; and Sefakoy, Turkey. It will also consolidate three Guatemalan locations into one and close some production lines in India and Japan.



Lanxess AG has started a new production unit for high-quality, black iron-oxide pigments at its site in Jinshan, Shanghai. With the annual capacity of 10,000 metric tons of black iron oxides, in addition to the already existing 28,000 metric tons of high-quality, yellow iron oxides, Lanxess can service customers globally with its high-end Bayferrox pigments.


Biomass-Fired Power Plant

Metso will supply a new biomass-fired power boiler, utilizing bubbling fluidized-bed technology, and a fluegas cleaning and condensation system to Bomhus Energi AB. The more than €50 million order will be part of the plant that will start up in early 2013. The planned plant will be located inside the present premises of the Korsnäs AB pulp mill.


Powder Coatings Plant

AkzoNobel has opened its sixth powder coatings facility in China. The 4,000 ton/year plant is located in the Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone in central China. The new factory will manufacture AkzoNobel Powder Coatings' Interpon range of products and its production capacity can be further expanded.


Capacity Expansion

ExxonMobil Chemical’s affiliate ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha has announced that Japan Butyl Co. Ltd. has completed an increase in butyl rubber production capacity at its plant in Kawasaki, Japan. The expansion adds 18,000 tons/year of production capacity, bringing the plant’s total capacity to 98,000 tons/year.



Air Products has further expanded its Asia Technology Center in Shangahi, China. The expansion will double the lab footprint and R&D staff numbers over the next year.

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