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Chexpress - October 23, 2012

North America


Ecolab has agreed to buy Champion Technologies for $2.2 billion. The two companies say the deal strongly complements Ecolab’s Sept. 2011 purchase of Nalco. The combination of Nalco and Champion will expand Ecolab’s ability to serve the energy market. Champion develops and sells performance chemicals to the oil and gas industry, with most sales targeting drilling applications. The company’s products include biocides, scale inhibitors, and water treatment chemicals. Ecolab expects to close the transaction by the end of the year.


Ecolab will close its Grand Forks, North Dakota office by the end of July 2013. Work performed at this office will transition to other company operations in the Midwest. The 144 full-time employees at this location support accounting, customer service, human resources, information technology and other administrative functions related to Ecolab’s Pest Elimination business. Many of these positions will transfer to other Ecolab locations.


Energizer Holdings, the maker of Banana Boat sunscreen, is recalling one of its spray-on products after reports that a handful of people have caught on fire after applying the lotion. Nearly two dozen formulations of UltraMist are being pulled from store shelves due to the risk that the lotion can ignite when exposed to open flame. The company says the problem appears to be with the spray valve, which is over applying the product. If the sunscreen doesn’t dry completely, it can catch on fire.

Spin Off

Murphy Oil Corporation plans to spin off to its stockholders its U.S. downstream subsidiary, Murphy Oil USA, Inc. into an independent and separately traded company. Murphy believes that creating two publicly traded companies would offer a number of advantages. Murphy USA will continue to be a flexible, low-price, high volume fuel seller. Murphy will become an independent exploration and production company with principal activities focused in the United States, Canada and Malaysia. The spin-off of Murphy USA is subject to customary conditions and is expected to be finalized in 2013. 



Contract Awarded

Fluor Corporation’s industrial engineering partnership of Fluor and Empresas ICA, ICA Fluor, has been awarded a multi-billion dollar engineering, procurement and construction contract by Brasken Idesa. The company will design and build the new Etileno XXI petrochemical complex in Veracruz, Mexico. The complex will include a one million ton/year ethylene cracker and two high-density polyethylene plants.

Investment Talks

Keppel Corp. is in talks with Petronas to invest in a new gas-fired power plant in Johor, Malaysia that could supply electricity to Singapore. Keppel could acquire a 30 percent stake in the 1,200 MW plant, part of a much larger petroleum and petrochemical project. The new plant will primarily be used to supply the electricity needs of the RM60 billion Refinery and Petrochemicals Development (Rapid) project being built by Petronas in Pengerang, but it can also supply power to Malaysia and Singapore. Work on the project is expected to start by the middle of next year, with completion in 2016.

Soil Testing

A team of soil scientists accompanies by senior officials of HPCL have visited a site proposed for setting up a petroleum refinery in Barmer, India. The team inspected the land proposed for setting up the refinery and the geographical situation.

Greenfield Refinery

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Limited is looking to setup a greenfield refinery in Nigeria in an effort to expand its footprint overseas. The Nigerian government is in early-stage talks with IOC to set up an oil refinery there. Nigeria is the biggest producer of oil in Africa and the sixth largest oil producing country in the world.


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