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Chexpress - May 5, 2011




North America


Ethane Supply Deal


NOVA Chemicals Corp. has signed a memorandum of understanding with a wholly owned subsidiary of Range Resources Corp. for a long-term supply of ethane from the Marcellus Shale Basin. In addition to finalizing a definitive purchase and sale agreement and customary reviews and approvals, the arrangement is subject to NOVA Chemicals finalizing a pipeline transportation agreement to transport ethane from the Marcellus Shale Basin to the Sarnia, Ontario petrochemical market.

New Plants


Dow Chemical Co. will increase its ethylene and propylene production to cash in on higher U.S. natural gas production from shale. It plans to build a new ethylene plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast that will be operational by 2017. It also plans to restart its ethylene plant near Hahnville, Louisiana by the end of 2012. Dow also plans to build a new propylene production plant in Texas, which is slated to be operational by 2015.

Research


Researchers have developed ways to substitute chicken feathers for petroleum in some plastic products, and at least two companies are working to bring items ranging from biodegradable flower pots to office furniture to market. The substitution would allow the U.S. to cut back on its oil use, however slightly, and give poultry producers another market for the more than 3 billion pounds of leftover chicken feathers they have each year. The federal government has supported such work, with the research arms of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Nursery & Landscape Association working together to find ways to use keratin resin from avian feathers in plastic manufacturing.

World


Capacity Expansion


Keyuan Petrochemicals, Inc. has successfully completed its capacity expansion at its Ningbo, China plant. Keyuan now has approximately 720,000 metric tons of annual production design capacity, up from 550,000 metric tons previously.

Power Deal


Statkraft has signed a new long-term power agreement with INEOS ChlorVinyls in Grenland, Norway. The agreement is for a total volume of 10.5 TWh over the next 12 years, starting May 15, 2011.

Capacity Boost


Bayer MaterialScience will expand production of polycarbonate at its Krefeld-Uerdingen site in Germany through a EUR 90 million investment. The plant’s annual capacity is to gradually reach 400,000 tons over the next four years through stepped increases from the current 330,000 tons/year capacity. In addition to the polycarbonate expansion at the site, Bayer MaterialScience is also currently rebuilding chlorine production facilities to increase energy efficiency.

HDPE Plant Order


Samsung Engineering Co. has won a $230 million order to build a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant in western India. Under the deal with ONGC Petro-additions Ltd., Samsung Engineering will build the plant with an annual production capacity of 340,000 tons of HDPE by August 2013.

Pilot Plant


Avantium has successfully started up its polyester pilot plant in Geleen, The Netherlands. This is the first part of the pilot plant that the company is building at its new site to demonstrate its YXY technology for green materials and fuels. Avantium’s monomer pilot plant is scheduled to become operational in the second half of this year. The YXY polyester plant will produce bioplastics based on the company’s YXY technology.

Joint Venture


Hanwha Chemical Corp. has agreed with Saudi International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem) to jointly build a polypropylene plant in eastern Saudi Arabia. The plant will be built in Jubail, Saudi Arabia by 2013. The two companies will invest $30 million each in the joint venture.




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