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Chexpress - January 15, 2013




North America


Contract Won

The M&G Group signed a $1 billion engineering, procurement and construction contract with Sinopec Engineering Co., Ltd. for the turnkey construction in Corpus Christi, Texas of the world’s largest single line PET plant with a capacity of 1 million tons/year integrated with the largest western world’s single line PTA plant with a capacity of 1.2 million tons/year. M&G’s engineering arms, Chemtex Global S.a.r.I. and M&G Finanziaria S.r.l., will provide critical equipment and services on a subcontracting basis to Sinopec. The completion of the construction of the plants, including the time required to obtain necessary permits, is expected to occur within 36 months. M&G will be the sole owner of the plants and solely responsible for their operation. The new plants will generate approximately 250 new jobs.

Restart


Dow Chemical Co. has restarted its St. Charles Olefins 2 Plant in an effort to help lower costs and strengthen the company’s competitiveness. The plant near Hanville, Louisiana began producing on-spec ethylene on Dec. 25, 2012, meeting previously announced goals to restart the site by the end of 2012. The move is part of the company’s investment plan to further connect its U.S. operations with cost-advantaged feedstocks from increasing supplies of U.S. shale gas. The plant was idled in 2009 and now that it has restarted, is expected to deliver a $150 million increase in EBITDA in 2013. 

Layoffs


Dow Corning Corp. will lay off 500 employees, mostly in the professional ranks of the company. The company has said the layoffs are designed to better align the company’s cost structure with the realities of the volatile global economy. The company said it is facing significant challenges, including oversupplied markets, high raw material costs and slowed growth in many regions. 

Settlement 


Cape Cod Ice has agreed to pay $225,000 to settle claims by the Environmental Protection Agency that it violated Clean Air Act requirements. The EPA alleged that the cold storage and ice manufacturing company didn’t have a required risk management plan for ammonia used in the refrigeration system at its East Providence, Rhode Island facility. The agency also said the company didn’t take required precautions at its Sandwich, Massachusetts facility to minimize the consequences of an accidental release of ammonia.

Explosion


Archer Daniels Midland has temporarily shut down operations at its corn processing plant in Peoria, Illinois after an early morning explosion damaged the facility. A fire broke out after the explosion in the maintenance area of the plant. Nobody was hurt, but fire officials say one person was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Firefighters arrived at the scene to find an open gas line feeding the fire. Shutting down the gas line extinguished some of the fire, but the blaze had already spread to the roof. The company is investigating and working to determine the extent of the damage.

 

World

Capacity Increase


Petkim is investing in increased production capacity at its ethylene plant at its Azerbaijan complex. The production capacity will increase by 13 percent. Additionally, the production of pure terephthalic acid will be increased from 70,000 tons/year to 105,000 tons/year. As a result of the new investment, the power capacity of the petrochemical complex will increase from 3.2 million tons to 3.5 million tons/year.

Polymer Plant


Kermanshah has inaugurated its polymer plant in Tehran, Iran. It is the eighth Mehr Mandegar (Lasting Kindless) project in the petrochemical sector. The plant has a production capacity of 300,000 tons of ethylene/year and will create 700 jobs, produce more than 30 different by-products and meet the feedstock needed by the downstream petrochemical sector.

Butanol Plant


Saudi Kayan, Sadara Chemical and Saudi Acrylic Acid Company (SAAC) have joined forces to establish a new company, The Saudi Butanol Company. Under the agreement, the three partners will have equal stake in the production quantities for downstream use or for sales in the local and overseas markets. The Saudi Butanol Company will build the first butanol plant in the Middle East and the largest in the world. The plant will produce butanol to support the growth of the paints and coatings industry in Saudi Arabia. It will be located at the Tasnee Petrochemicals Complex in Jubail Industrial City and operated by Tasnee. The new plant is scheduled to go on-stream in the first quarter of 2015. It will open new job opportunities of around 200 direct and indirect positions for Saudi citizens. The design capacity of the plant is 330,000 metric tons/year of n-butanol and 11,000 metric tons/year of iso-butanol. The estimated cost of the project is $517 million.






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