The Exxon Mobil chemical plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has started work on expanding production of isopropyl alcohol. The solvent is used extensively in personal care products, pharmaceuticals, coatings, cleaning products for electronics and as a component for making agricultural chemicals.
Arkema and The Dow Chemical Co. have closed Dow’s divestiture to Arkema of its acrylic acid and esters business in Clear Lake, Texas and its UCAR Emulsion and specialty latex business in North America. The transaction has a fair value consideration of $50 million.
Trade Group Reinvention
The Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association has reinvented itself as the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada to reflect the changing face of the chemistry sector and its renewed commitment to environmental sustainability. In addition to chemical manufacturing, the sector now produces bio-based compounds, new technologies and “green” chemistry solutions. The Association has expanded its membership to include new players committed to the Responsible Care ethic and principles.
Monsanto has received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the sales of a new formulation of acetochlor for early post-emergence use in cotton and soybeans. The product will be marketed as MON 63410 Herbicide for the 2010 growing season. Upon receipt of state regulations and approvals, it will be introduced for those areas that have had resistance and other control problems with Palmer amaranth and tall waterhemp.
Calgon Carbon Corporation has acquired the outstanding stock of Hyde Marine Inc., a manufacturer of systems that utilize ultraviolet light technology to treat marine ballast water. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. A company official said that while it is a small acquisition, it is strategic in broadening Calgon Carbon’s knowledge base and experience in using ultraviolet technology to treat water. In addition, it provides immediate entry into a global, legislative-driven market with growth potential.
Sunoco plans to sell its chemical unit to Braskem SA for about $350 million in cash. The move is part of Sunoco’s efforts to shed non-core assets, improve returns on invested capital and funnel sale proceeds to more strategic parts of the business. The deal fits into Braskem’s international expansion strategy. The sale includes subsidiary Sunoco Chemicals Inc., based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which is comprised of its polypropylene business. The sale includes manufacturing facilities in La Porte, Texas; Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania; and Neal, West Virginia. In total, these plants have the combined capacity to make about 2.1 billion pounds of polypropylene/year. The sale also includes Sunoco’s research and technology center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Sunoco has permanently shut down its previously idled Eagle Point refinery in Westville, New Jersey. The closure is due to continued weak demand for refined products and tough market conditions. The refinery was idled in early November 2009. The company’s refined product storage and handling operations at the location will continue.
Monsanto will establish a research-and-development operation in Kannapolis, North Carolina within six months. The company has signed a long-term lease and plans an 11,000 square-foot lab. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Dow Chemical Company and Menlo Worldwide Logistics have opened a new 134,000-square-foot warehousing and distribution operation in Bay City, Michigan. The property recently underwent a major renovation and upgrade, which converted the building into a modern, energy-efficient, purpose-designed facility that will provide strategic warehousing and distribution services for Dow Wolf Cellulosics products manufactured at Dow Michigan Operations in Midland, Michigan.