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Chexpress - September 20, 2011

North America


Dow Corning Corp. was awarded the Neighborhood Environmental Partners Program Award by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The award was given for the company’s commitment to environmental community outreach.

Battery Plant

Construction work on LG Chem’s 600,000-square foot Lithium Ion battery plant is complete and operators for making the batteries are now being trained. The Holland, Michigan plant is expected to go into full production in 2012 with about 300 employees working on site. The $303 million plant will be the primary manufacturing facility for the new Lithium Ion battery cells being manufactured for the Chevy Volt.

Suspending Operations

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP has reached an agreement with Sumika Polymers America Corporation for the permanent shutdown of the polypropylene assets jointly owned by the parties in Phillips Sumika Polypropylene Company (PSPC) and the orderly wind-up of the PSPC operations. All other operations at the Chevron Phillips Chemical Pasadena Plastics Complex in Pasadena, Texas are unaffected by the closing of the PSPC polypropylene plant at the facility.

Line Expansions

Eastman Chemical Company announced a second expansion of its Benzoflex plasticizer line at its Kohtla-Jarve, Estonia site as well as plans for expansion of the Benzoflex plasticizers and admex polymeric plasticizers lines at its Chestertown, Maryland and Kingsport, Tennessee sites. The expansion in Estonia will increase the site’s capacity by 11,000 metric tons and is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2012. The total capacity for the expansions in North America is approximately 9,000 metric tons and is also expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2012.

Feedstock Deals

NOVA Chemicals has entered into three core agreements that support the revamp of its Corunna cracker to utilize up to 100 percent NGL feedstock. First, a transportation service agreement with Sunoco Pipeline L.P. for the transportation of ethane feedstock from the Marcellus Shale Basin into the Sarnia, Ontario region. Second, a definitive agreement for long-term ethane supply from the Marcellus Shale Basin with Caiman Energy, LLC. And, finally a definitive agreement for long-term ethane supply from the Marcellus Shale Basin with a wholly owned subsidiary of Range Resources Corporation. The proposed projects are subject to receive of customary regulatory and other approvals.


Oil Spill

The oil spills from offshore wells operated by ConocoPhillips in China’s Bohai Bay are posing political and technical challenges for the company. The spills have released about 700 barrels of oil into Bohai Bay and 2,500 barrels of mineral oil-based drilling mud onto the seabed. ConocoPhillips said it had complied with a government order to suspend all drilling, water injection and production at the affected Penglai 19-3 oil field, one of China’s largest. Operations are currently stopped at 180 producing wells and 51 injecting wells. The field is operated by ConocoPhillips in a venture with state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp.

North Sea Development

BP PLC and its partners will invest up to $1.1 billion to develop the Kinnoull reservoir in the North Sea. The company said that Kinnoull holds 45 million barrels of oil equivalent. The investment will extend production beyond 2020 with a peak rate of 45,000 barrels a day. The new facilities are scheduled to come on line in 2013.

Petrochemical Complex and Fabrication Yard

Malaysia has proposed that Petronas build a $1.6 billion petrochemical complex with BASF SE in Brunei. In addition, Malaysia has proposed that Malaysia Marine & Heavy Engineering Holdings Bhd. build a fabrication yard in Brunei.

Surface Condenser Order

Graham Corp. has been awarded orders for two surface condensers in the Indian market. The orders total $2.4 million. One of the orders is for the expansion of a petrochemical facility to increase production of ethylene. The order delivery is planned for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. The second order will increase the production of transportation fuels at an oil refinery. Delivery of that order is expected to occur in the quarter ending September 30, 2012.


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