Industry News Editor Christa Semko Every two weeks, Christa will
bring you the latest chemical industry news from the U.S. and India. If you have a
press release that you'd like to share with us, please mail it to us through our online
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Propylene capacity Enterprise Products Partners LP will invest $205 million to build a propylene
fractionator at its Mont Belvieu, Texas complex. This will boost the company's
propylene/propane fractionation capacity by 1 billion pounds as well as expand two
refinery-grade propylene gathering pipelines. These projects should be complete by
Delay Westlake Chemical's planned 42-day turnaround at its Lake Charles, Louisiana
ethylene cracker has been rescheduled for late June. The work was originally
scheduled for March and April. The cracker is not being expanded, but is planned to
be modified for feedstock flexibility. The unit produces 545,000 tons/year of
ethylene and currently uses mostly light feedstock.
Surcharges Louisiana's industrial manufacturers are paying their fair share of hurricane
recovery costs. The state's Public Service Commission has declined to reconsider its
February approval of an electricity surcharge, which industrial customers complained put
too much of the burden on them. The program allows Entergy, Louisiana's primary
electricity provider, to recover $20 million from customers for repairs following
hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The average industrial plant's monthly electric bill is
expected to jump $220,000. The surcharge will be based on electricity usage, rather
than a customer's use of the distribution network, which is the area of concern for the
industrial companies they use 50% of the state's electricity, but only 28% of the
New vinyl methyl ether plant Dow Chemical Co. will use a new facility in Hahnville, Louisiana to produce
vinyl methyl ether, currently produced at a plant in West Virginia that is slated for
closure in 2008. The new plant is scheduled to be built at the site of an existing
chemical acrolein derivatives plant. The South Charleston, West Virginia plant will
be closed and demolished after the Louisiana facility opens. The move is in an
effort to cut costs by moving the vinyl methyl ether operation closer to where the raw
materials used to produce it are manufactured. Vinyl methyl ether is a product used
in the production of water treatment products and preservatives.
License agreement ABB has signed an agreement with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for the
exclusive right to license the Indmax technology developed by IOC. This technology
maximizes the conversion of heavy oils to highly olefinic LPB, a mixture of hydrocarbons
with three and/or four carbon atoms, thorugh a fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) process.
Supply contract The Phosphate Chemicals Export Association Inc. (PhosChem) has entered into a
diammonium phosphate (DAP) supply contract with India Potash Ltd (IPL). Under this
agreement, PhosChem will supply IPL with 330,000 metric tons of DAP. The DAP will be
shipped in six Panamax vessels to India between April and September at prices reflecting
the market at the time of the shipment.
R&D center Deepak Nitrite Ltd. (DNL) and the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune
have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will allow DNL and NCL to work
closely together in identifying and pursuing R&D opportunities of mutual interest
where fruitful and synergistic collaboration can be achieved. As part of the MOU,
DNL has set up a R&D center to leverage the expertise and facilities of NCL.
Methane production delayed ONGC's coal bed methane production has been delayed. ONGC is now
expecting commercial production of CBM to being at least three months behind schedule in
July 2007. The postponement is a result of the delay in awarding contracts for
integrated exploration and development in six blocks in Jharkhand and West Bengal.
New units The ABB Group will establish a new Low Voltage Distribution Electricals Unit
in Haridwar and a Vacuum Interrupter plant in Nashik in addition to the capacity expansion
underway across businesses and locations. ABB India is one of the Group's fastest
growing operations today, with continued expansion in the plans.
Inauguration ABB Group's global Operation & Engineering Center in Bangalore has been
inaugurated. The center's main focus is to develop and execute system and
engineering solutions for ABB's global automation business. It also serves as a
resource base for ABB units around the world.
Expansion approved The Rs. 2,000-crore expansion and modernization plan of Kochi Refineries Ltd.
has been cleared by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The project includes
capacity expansion from 7.5 million tons/year to 9.5 million tons/year at the refinery's
existing facilities. The modernization component includes upgrading the fuels to
Euro III compliance levels, reducing sulfur in motor spirit to 150 parts/million and in
high-speed diesel to 350 parts/million. In addition, the project involves the set up
of an effluent treatment plant for the additional wastewater that will be generated.