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Chexpress - June 25, 2013

North America


Monsanto has acquired Grassroots Biotechnology for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition came after a long-term partnership between the two companies. Grassroots developed a gene-expression platform and other agricultural technologies to complement Monsanto’s portfolio. Research employees were transferred to Monsanto as part of the deal.

Plant blasts

Two chemical plant accidents in Louisiana – only a day part – killed three workers and left many more injured. The first explosion killed two workers at the Williams Cos. ethylene plant in Geismar. The cause is still unknown. While a massive fire raged, 300 workers were evacuated and 73 of them were taken to area hospitals. At the CF Industries nitrogen fertilizer plant in Donaldsonville, 10 miles away, one worker was killed and seven were injured when a temporary distribution manifold ruptured during the off-loading of nitrogen gas.


EcoDual Inc. will relocate its manufacturing assets in a new facility in Beaufort County, South Carolina over the next 18 months. The $13 million investment by the dual fuel conversion systems company is expected to create 307 new jobs over the next five years. The company’s dual fuel conversion systems for heavy-duty, Class 8 trucks can help reduce fuel costs by allowing these vehicles to operate on a combination of diesel and natural gas while providing full torque and power.


Two people were killed in a massive explosion at a fireworks warehouse west of Montreal, Quebec, leaving a huge plume of smoke visible for miles. A series of explosions subsequently leapt from the charred building after the initial blast at B.E.M. Fireworks. Two bodies were found in the wreckage. Nearly two hours after the blast, fireworks could still be heard exploding at the scene of the fire that continued to burn out of control hours after the explosion. Police ordered the surrounding community of Coteau-du-Lac evacuated and closed a nearby highway in both directions.


Electrical equipment supplier

Eaton has entered into an agreement with Sadara Chemical Company (a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and The Dow Chemical Company) to supply motor control, power distribution solutions and engineering services. Under the multi-million dollar agreement, Eaton will provide equipment and services to enhance the overall reliability and safety of Sadara’s fully integrated chemical complex currently under construction in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. The Sadara complex will be the world’s largest integrated chemical facility ever built in a single phase. It will produce more than three million metric tons of value-added chemicals and plastics to serve the rapidly expanding energy, transportation, infrastructure and consumer products sectors.

Petrochemical complex

State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (Socar) will be investment $500 million in the building of an oil and gas refining and petrochemicals complex in Garadagh. The plan is for it to go into operation by 2021. It will have a gas refinery, an oil refinery and a petrochemicals plant. The plan is for a nuclear-powered generating facility to be built in order for them to operate autonomously.

Plant expansion

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. was awarded a contract by Polimeri Europa UK Limited (Versalis group) to provide engineering, procurement and construction management (ECPM) services to support a major expansion at Polimeri Europa UK’s plant in Grangemouth, Scotland. Under the terms of the contract, Jacobs is providing EPCM services in collaboration with Polimeri Europa UK to support the installation of a new finishing line and the associated works. The expansion is expected to significantly increase Polimeri Europa UK’s rubber production capacity in Grangemouth.


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