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Chexpress - June 16, 2011

North America

Plant Close

CF Industries Holdings Inc. will close its Port Neal nitrogen manufacturing plant in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, because of flooding along the adjacent Missouri River. The closure is a precautionary measure and no damage to the plant has been reported. The company is building an earthen berm that it believes will shield the plant from flooding.

Protection Measures

Dow Chemical Co. is working with more than 75 homeowners along the Tittabawasee River to remedy dioxin found on their properties. Dow and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed a legal agreement in May that required the company to carry out interim cleanup plans at the eligible homes. The interim protection measures can include placing a ground cover and gravel over contaminated soil and moving beaches, play equipment, fire pits and gardens out of the flood area. Dow has sent out letters to residents informing them of the coming work. The EPA will oversee Dow’s work, which is aimed at high-use areas that have dioxins and furans in the soil.

Ethylene Cracker

Shell is developing plans to build a world-scale ethylene cracker with integrated derivative units in the Appalachian region of the United States. The cracker will process ethane from Marcellus natural gas to produce ethylene, one of the primary building blocks for petrochemicals. The company is evaluating derivative choices and the leading option is Polyethylene (PE). Most of the PE production would be used by northeastern U.S. industries.


Seven employees were injured after a substance ignited in a chemical-storage room at Intel’s plant in Chandler, Arizona. Chandler Fire Department officials said the injured were taken to city hospitals, but that most of the injuries appeared to be minor. The fire was contained in one room. It is still unclear what the substance was and how it ignited.



Chemtura Corp. plans to build a multi-purpose manufacturing facility in China. The investment or anticipated timeframe for the facility were not released. The facility will initially support the company’s urethanes business.

Joint Venture

The Dow Chemical Co., through its wholly owned subsidiary Dow Europe GmbH, and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.S. announced a Memorandum of Understanding with the intent to form a joint venture to manufacturing and globally commercialize carbon fiber and derivatives. Through this agreement, both companies will work together to explore opportunities to create fully integrated production facilities for the manufacture and global supply of carbon fibers and derivatives. The companies will examine opportunities to develop and market a broad range of products and technical service offerings in the carbon fiber-based composites industry.

Capacity Addition

BASF is increasing its compounding capacities for the engineering plastics Ultramid (polyamide) and Ultradur (PBT: polybutylene terephthalate) at its Schwarzheide, Germany site by 10,000 metric tons/year. The engineering plastics Ultramid and Ultradur are further processed into high-performance components in the automotive industry, in the electric and electronics sector as well as in the realms of construction and furniture-making.


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