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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: February 18, 2010

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North America

Chemical Leak

Air Products and Chemicals Inc. officials are investigating what caused a chemical release at the company’s Pasadena, Texas plant that forced neighbors to stay indoors for a couple of hours. An orange cloud was seen in the area after the release, prompting emergency personnel to order a shelter-in-place. The company said a pipe leak resulted in the formation and release of a nitric oxide vapor cloud. There was no fire and no one was hurt at the unit.

O&M Contract

DuPont Engineering awarded Fluor Corp. a construction, maintenance and services contract for nine sites throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The new contract includes seven existing sites that Fluor already serves, plus two additional sites in Kinston, North Carolina and Manati, Puerto Rico. The contract value was not disclosed. As part of the work that Fluor will perform across the nine sites, some 600 plant personnel will work at the facilities on an ongoing basis for the duration of the three-year contract.



The Sherwin-Williams Company will acquire the Industrial Wood Coatings business of Arch Chemicals Inc. Arch Industrial Wood Coatings manufactures coatings for the joinery, furniture and cabinets markets. It trades under the Sayerlack brand. Sherwin-Williams officials said this acquisition reaffirms the company’s commitment to growing globally through organic expansion, accelerated by appropriate acquisitions.            


Refinery and Petrochemicals Complex

Foster Wheeler AG’s Global Engineering and Construction Group has been awarded a contract by Nghi Son Refinery & Petrochemical Limited Liability Company (NSRP) for the provision of technical and commercial services for the planned Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemicals Complex. The contract value was not disclosed. Foster Wheeler will support NSRP in the preparation of the enquiry packages, bid clarifications and bid evaluation and provide all necessary technical and commercial support leading to award of the engineering, procurement and construction contract.


Yara International ASA has agreed to acquire Terra Industries Inc. for $4.1 billion. The deal is expected to close in June 2010 on the conditions of the rights issue, Terra shareholder approval and the approval of regulatory authorities. The two companies are already part of a joint operation in the U.K.


Ammonia Plant

KBR has been awarded a contract by Matix Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited (MFCL) to provide licensing and engineering services for its grassroots 2,200 metric tons/day ammonia plant in West Bengal, India. KBR will license its Purifier Ammonia technology for the Matix plant, which will be based on coal bed methane.

Olefins Plant

PTT Chemical PCL will start commercial operations at its new olefins plant this month. This announcement alleviates concerns over a delay, but the plant won’t be able to achieve its full annual capacity of 1 million metric tons for now due to a problem surrounding the legality of permits that include one for a gas separation plant that is to supply feedstock. Initially, the plant will operate at 60-70% capacity.


Biodiesel Catalyst Production Plant

BASF has broken ground for its new production plant for sodium methylate in Guaratingueta, Brazil. The plant will have a capacity of 60,000 metric tons/year and is primarily intended to supply the regional market. The plant is expected to be operational from the end of 2011 onwards.

Ethylene Plant Upgrade

KBR has been awarded a contract by INDORAMA-owned Eleme Petrochemicals Co. Ltd. to provide technology licensing and engineering services related to the revamp of Eleme’s Port Harcourt, Nigeria ethylene plant. KBR will provide an extended basic engineering design package for the partial revamp of six Millisecond furnaces to incorporate its SCORE technology features. The goal of the revamp is to enhance the operating performance and reliability of the existing 15-year-old furnaces, improve run lengths and improve overall performance and reliability.


Glycol Production

Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. has received the required Shandong Provincial Government approval for the Phase II expansion of the company’s Hai Hua plant in Zaozhuang City, China. The approval will enable the company to expand its current facilities to include production of approximately 50,000 tons/year of monoethylene glycol and associated by-products.

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