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Chexpress - April 5, 2011




North America



Expansion


Tesoro Corp. plans to increase capacity at its North Dakota refinery by 10,000 barrels/day, partly because of record production in the rich Bakken shale and Three Forks formations in the western part of the state. The expansion will cost $35 million and the project is slated to be complete by April 2012.

Acquisition


Dawson Geophysical Co. plans to acquire TGC Industries Inc. in an all-stock transaction valued at about $157 million. Both companies provide onshore seismic data services for the oil and gas industry. The combined company will keep the Dawson name and trading symbol. The deal is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter.

Explosion


Two explosions rocked a Carbide Industries chemical plant in Kentucky, throwing debris hundreds of yards from a burning building, killing two workers and injuring two others. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is sending a team to the plant to investigate the explosions further.

Sale


Solutia Inc. sold its Santoweb and Vocol businesses, which make rubber chemicals, to Rehin Chemie. Financial terms of the dal were not disclosed.

Technology Selected


UOP LLC’s technology has been selected by Great Orient Chemical for a new petrochemicals complex in China that will produce the key ingredient for biodegradable household laundry detergents. Great Orient Chemical expects the new complex to produce up to 100,000 metric tons/year of linear alkylbenzene (LAB). Honeywell UOP’s LAB technology is used to produce more than 85 percent of the world’s detergents.

World


Approval Received


BASF has received approval for a 400,000 metric tons/year MDI project in Chongqing, China. The RMB 8 billion facility is expected to start up by 2014. The project was approved by Chinese authorities. The facility will consist of an MDI plant, a nitrobenzene plant and an aniline plant.

Tech Center


ExxonMobil Chemical has opened its Shanghai Technology Center. The $90-million facility contains advanced analytical and testing laboratory equipment and commercial-scale product processing equipment, including blown and cast film extrusion, injection molding, compounding, and packaging.

Start Up


Evonik Industries has started up a new facility to produce high-purity isobutene at its site in Antwerp, Belgium. The new plant can produce up to 110,000 metric tons isobutene/year and forms part of the site’s integrated C4 production platform.

Purchase


Solva SA has agreed to buy Rhodia SA for $4.8 billion in cash to add specialty chemicals spanning ingredients for moisturizes and car-part polymers to its business. The deal is expected to close by late August.




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