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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: April 29, 2010

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North America

Suit Settled

A group of landowners have settled in a long-running lawsuit for $1.75 million over allegations that water leaks from a western Kentucky uranium enrichment plant devalued property values. The attorney representing the landowners said the funds are aimed at compensating between 70 and 80 homeowners for the devaluation of the property because of radiation contamination.

Latex Alternative

Kraton Performance Polymers plans to invest approximately $27 million in its Belpre, Ohio plant to enable production of Poly-Isoprene Rubber. This will allow Kraton to manufacture the product in the U.S. to support increased customer demand and the projected long-term needs of the market. Plant modifications and upgrades should begin in the third quarter of 2010 and the new production capabilities are expected by mid-2011.

New Office

Bayards has opened an office in Houston, Texas. This office will enable Bayards, the Dutch aluminum construction company, to serve its clients in the Gulf region. Bayards supplies the international offshore and marine industry with helicopter platforms. In addition, the company engineers and constructs other offshore structures, including sections of accommodation units, stair towers and antenna modules.     


New Company Formed

Petrobras announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Comperj Participações S.A. and SMU Energia e Serviços de Utilidades Ltda have agreed to form a new company, Companhia de Desenvolvimento de Plantas de Utilidades (CPDU), to analyze the implementation of Comperj’s utilities plant project. Comperj Participações will have a 20% interest in CDPU and SMU will have the other 80%. The utilities plant project is part of the Petrochemical Complex of Rio de Janeiro and consists of units of electric energy supply, vapor supply, water and industrial effluents treatment and hydrogen supply. The project also includes the construction of a refinery, first and second generation petrochemical units.


Milestone Reached

ExxonMobil has reached a significant milestone for its integrated chemical and refining complex. Seven world-scale furnace modules have arrived at the Singapore facility. Each furnace module is about 15 stories tall and weighs more than 2,000 tons. The furnaces are part of a feed-flexible stream cracker that will have an ethylene production capacity of one million tons/year.

Proposed Closure

Celanese is considering a consolidation of its global acetate manufacturing operations by proposing the closure of its acetate manufacturing facility in Spondon, Derby, U.K. The consolidation is designed to strengthen the company’s competitive position, reduce fixed costs and align future production capacities with anticipated industry demand trends. If the company proceeds with the proposed closure, it expects to operate the Spondo facility through late 2011 to ensure a smooth closure process. Acetate customers would continue to be served through the company’s global production network.

Compounding Plant

Borouge has inaugurated its first compounding manufacturing plant. The plant, located in Shanghai, China, is designed to provide innovative plastics solutions to the rapidly growing local automotive and household appliances industries. The new plant has the capacity to supply up to 50,000 tons/year of compounded resins to its customers. The plant has the potential to expand to 80,000 tons/year in the future.


Refining Complex

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. is reviewing an investment opportunity to build a large refining and petrochemical complex in Singapore. The National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, approved the company’s plan to invest and build a lubricant plant in Singapore in January. The company is now considering expanding the plant into a complex. The complex would be located on Jurong Island with a crude oil reserve depot and a large refinery in addition to the lubricant plant.

Ethylene Purification Unit

The Sasol Limited board has recently approved the construction of a R1.9 billion ethylene purification unit at its Sasol Polymers plant in Sasolburg, South Africa. The plant is expected to go on stream in the second half of 2013 and will be ramped up to full capacity by 2015.


Ammonia Plant

Chart Industries, Inc.’s wholly owned subsidiary, Chart Energy & Chemicals, Inc., has been awarded a $12 million contract by Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited for the mechanical design, fabrication and supply of two KBR Purifier systems. The systems will be installed at Krishak Bharati’s existing ammonia plants in Gujarat, India, as part of a larger refurbishment project to improve overall plant efficiency.

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