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Chexpress - April 30, 2013

North America

Methanol plant move

Methanex Corporation is relocating its second one million ton/year methanol plant from its Chile site to Geismar, Louisiana. The plant is expected to be operational by early 2016 and has an estimated total cost of approximately $550 million.

Fractionation project

UOP LLC has been selected by Crosstex Processing Services, LLC to provide technology and equipment to extract petrochemical feedstocks from natural gas liquids (NGLs) derived from shale gas. UOP will build and install UOP Russell fractionation equipment that is designed to extract ethane and propane from mixed natural gas liquid streams. UOP will provide Crosstex with a full turn-key solution that includes on-site installation and start-up services for the UOP Russell equipment as well as other related equipment and infrastructure. The equipment will be installed at the Crosstex facility in Plaquemine, Louisiana. Start-up is scheduled for 2014.

Fertilizer plant explosion

A fire at the West Fertilizer Co. that later led to an explosion killed 15 people. After two hours of firefighters trying to extinguish the fire, an explosion at the plant registered as a 2.1 earthquake on the Richter scale, sending a column of smoke hundreds of feet into the air. The blast heavily damaged homes near the site. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board deployed a large investigation team to the scene of the fire and explosion. State officials set up air monitoring nearby.


Corning Inc. plans a $250 million expansion of its diesel plant in Erwin, New York. The expansion will add 250 jobs to the already 500 at the facility. The plant makes emission control products used in heavy-duty diesel engine trucks and agricultural equipment. The 94,000 square-foot expansion is expected to be completed by 2015.


Monsanto Co. plans a $400 million expansion to its research center in St. Louis, Missouri. The company will add 36 new greenhouses, offices, laboratory space and plat growth chambers that can be programmed to represent any climate around the world. Construction is expected to begin in August and by completed by 2017.


Honeywell International Inc. is buying RAE Systems Inc. for $340 million. The company said the acquisition will complement its existing business and expand its expertise and geographic footprint, particularly in high-growth countries like China. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.


Job cuts

SABIC plans to cut approximately 1,050 positions as part of a restructuring program designed to strengthen its European businesses. The plan also includes the shutdown of certain European assets. Around two thirds of the planned job cuts across Europe will involve SABIC employees with the remainder of the cuts coming from contracting staff. SABIC has initiated consultations with relevant works councils and trade unions.

Tax reduction

Brazil will lower taxes on the country’s sugarcane and petrochemical industries as the government seeks to boost the competitiveness of its exports as the U.S. expands shale gas production. Brazil will “neutralize” the PIS/Cofins social security tax on ethanol producers and petrochemical companies in the hopes of spurring more investment in the sugarcane industry.

Job cuts

BASF is cutting 500 jobs by the end of 2015 in its specialized chemicals business. The specialized chemicals division is facing a changed business environment, including new competitors and standardization requirements in some of its market segments. Most of the job cuts will come in Basel, Switzerland. The affected businesses make plastic additives, pigments and chemicals for use in leather and textile products.


ABB Ltd. is buying Power-One Inc. for about $1 billion. The acquisition will ramp up ABB’s capability to supply a key component used in solar systems. The deal still must be approved by regulators and Power-One shareholders. ABB expects the deal to close in the second half of this year.

Thanks Christa

Could you please send me your personnel email




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