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Dateline: August 23, 2005

Chemical Industy News from the U.S.
Chemical Industry News from India
Technically Speaking

Chemical Industry News from the U.S.

Generic pharmaceuticals
Merck KGaA has established a generic pharmaceuticals business based in New York called Genpharm LP.  The business will provide direct access to U.S. customers as well as reinforce Merck's position as the world's third-largest global generics firm.

Titanium dioxide plant
Special Materials Co. has opened a new titanium dioxide (TiO2) slurry facility in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  The plant will produce high-quality TiO2 pigment dispersions for the paper market.  It will also offer custom-tailored TiO2-based dispersions not available before from domestic pigment manufacturers.

Plant expansion
Reilly Industries Inc. is beginning its second phase of expansion at its Indianapolis, Indiana plant to increase manufacturing capacity for pyridine and picoline.  The expansion comes at an investment of $6 - 8 million to grow capacity by 20%.  The second phase of the expansion should be completed by the third quarter of 2006.

Agreement for advanced food testing systems
DuPont Qualicon and Applied Biosystems have signed an agreement to jointly develop and market new BAX(R) system applications for the food industry.  The BAX(R) system already uses the power of polymerase chain reaction to detect microorganisms in food.  With innovations in DNA technology from Applied Biosystems, additional capabilities, such as quantitation, strain discrimination and other benefits, will be available.

Polyisobutylene increase
Texas Petrochemicals LP recently completed an expansion of its existing polyisobutylene (PIB) facility in Houston, Texas and is now planning another expansion that would double capacity by mid-2006.  The PIB is used for lube and fuel additives as well as in adhesive and sealant applications and plasticizer and dielectric fluid fields.  

New plasticizer plant
BASF is constructing a new plasticizer plant in Pasadena, Texas, which is scheduled to be online in late 2006.  The plant is part of the company's $60 million investment into restructuring its plasticizer business at both the Pasadena and Freeport, Texas facilities.

Plant conversion
Degussa Engineered Carbons will convert its Orange, Texas carbon black facility to tread grads.  The conversion will begin this year, with completion by the beginning of 2006.  Currently, the unit produces carcass black for the rubber industry.

Chemical Industry News from India

Expansion completed by year-end
Kanoria Chemicals & Industries Ltd. is hoping to complete its ongoing expansion of its chlor alkali plant by the end of the year.  With an investment of Rs. 180-crore, the company is enhancing the capacity of the plant at Renukoot in Uttar Pradesh and also adding 25-mega-watt capacity, for a total of 50-mega-watts, to its existing captive power plant.  Description of new item goes here.  The expansion is based on membrane cell technology for the production of caustic soda and should expand capacity from 50,000 tons/year to 88,000 tons/year.

Expansion plans under review
HPCL is reviewing its decision to expand the capacity of the Vizag refineries to 15 million tons/year.  The company is considering turning the project into an integrated refining-cum-petrochemicals complex.  The options under consideration include producing more petrochemical feedstock using cheaper crude and backing up the refinery with a petrochemicals project to produce a range of products.

FCCB power plant funding
Phillips Carbon Black Ltd. is planning to raise Rs. 105-crore through foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCB) to fund its proposed 35-mega-watt power plant adjoining its Durgapar factory.  The company is focusing its expansion efforts on power projects. 

Technically Speaking

What is a common failure mechanism for above ground atmospheric storage tanks?

Tanks constructed prior to the 1950's are notorious for failing along the shell-to-bottom seam or on the side seam.  The principle reason for this is that these tanks were constructed before there were established procedures and codes for such a tank (Ex/ API-650 "Welded Steel Tanks for Oil Storage").

One of the key features of these codes and procedures was to make sure that tanks were designed to fail along the shell-to-seam such that the liquid remained largely contained.

You can read more about this topic by downloading the publication entitled "Catastrophic Failure of Storage Tanks" from the U.S. Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office (see link below)


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