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Chexpress - March 12, 2013

North America

Petrochemical storage and processing facility

Katoen Natie USA will invest $150 million to build a plastics storage, custom packaging and distribution facility for producers of petrochemical products in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The logistics complex will include polymer terminals, warehousing and distribution facilities. It will offer a variety of processing, handling, storage and value-added services to petrochemical and specialty chemical producers. The first phase of the project is expected to begin in early 2013 and will include construction of the first 600,000 square feet of storage space, all the rail lines servicing the facility, half of the available rail yard, all rail tie-ins, and the construction of a 6-acre detention pond. The first phase should be completed by the end of 2013 with the entire facility complete by 2018.


ExxonMobil Chemical Company has filed permit applications for a multibillion-dollar expansion at its Baytown, Texas site. The project will convert ethylene from a new world-scale steam cracker to premium polyethylene products to serve growing markets around the world. Feedstock and energy supplies will be coordinated with ExxonMobil’s upstream business.

Chemical logistics facility

Rinchem Company, Inc. has opened a 65,000-square-foot chemical logistics facility in Hollister, California. The new facility includes warehousing areas for regulated and non-regulated chemicals and gases. Services that will be offered at the site include customized warehousing, regional and long-haul transportation, freight forwarding and supply chain consulting. The new facility uses Rinchem’s Chem-Star warehouse management system, providing customers with inventory visibility across Rinchem’s global network of 26 locations.


Extensive safety checks

The South Korean government is launching extensive inspections of firms that deal with chemical substances. There have been growing calls for thorough measures to prevent the recurrence of toxic chemical leakage accidents after the country saw a strong of such cases during the past several months. Under the plan, the government will conduct inspections of 985 businesses nationwide that deal with large amounts of chemicals and have a track record of similar accidents, with plants to extend the scope in phases. The government will also revise relevant laws to require chemical firms to request permission to set up their businesses instead of the current system of self-registration. In addition, a three-strikes law will be introduced where firms that violate safety regulations three times during a certain period of time will face a forcible shutdown of their businesses. All chemical firms will be required to undergo safety checks of their facilities and the government will strengthen support for safety education and training.

Plastic polymers investment

Bahrain is investing in the production of plastics polymers to cater to the annual plastics consumption growth in the Gulf. A large number of Bahraini investors, including banks, manufacturers and funding companies, are investing into the rapidly growing GCC polymers industry. Bahrain is increasing its share of the production of petrochemicals, which is becoming a key driver of the kingdom’s economy and which enhances its economy diversification drive.

Ammonia plant

Toyo has been awarded a contract to construct an ammonia plant and related utility facilities with a 2,000 tons/day capacity in Luwuk, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Toyo Engineering and PT Inti Karya Persada Tehnik, an Indonesian engineering firm, will carry out the project. The plant will produce ammonia as a feedstock for downstream chemicals such as fertilizer, acrylonitrile, caprolactam and ammonium nitrate using natural gas produced from the Senoro and Toili natural gas fields in Central Sulawesi.


Albemarle Corporation and Arab Potash Company’s joint venture, Jordan Bromine Company, has successfully commissioned the first phase of its previously announced expansion project.  This phase of the project doubles the site’s bromine production capacity. The second phase of the expansion will double the current capacity of key bromine derivatives, hydrobromic acid, calcium bromide, and sodium bromide. The second phase is scheduled for commissioning in May 2013.  


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