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Chexpress - October 8, 2013

North America

Regional sales office

Dow Chemical Co. has opened a new Southeast regional sales office at is Polyurethane Systems North American Headquarters in Marietta, Georgia. The Southeast Regional Sales Center is home to approximately 50 sales associates who will use the facility to host customer meetings, conduct team events and participate in sales training.


Emerson has announced its intent to purchase Virgo Valves and Controls, LTD. Virgo, a manufacturer of ball valves and automation systems, will operate within Emerson Process Management’s final controls business. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Natural gas to liquids plant

Shell Oil Co. has chosen a site near Sorrento, Louisiana as the potential location for a $12.5 billion natural gas to liquids plant that would create 740 jobs. The company says it will decide after engineering studies and environmental permitting are done. The plant would create natural gas-based diesel and jet fuels along with specialty waxes and products used in plastics and detergents that are normally made from oil.

Ethylene cracker project

Fluor Corporation and JGC Corporation’s 50/50 joint venture was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP for its U.S. Gulf Coast Petrochemicals Project. The project consists of the ethylene unit (cracker) and associated offsite components to be built at Chevron Phillips Chemical’s existing Cedar Bayou complex in Baytown, Texas. The scope includes engineering and procurement for the outside batter limit as well as direct hire construction for the entire cracker project.



Polyethylene unit

Unipetrol has acquired technology and production rights for a new polyethylene unit and wants to pick a contractor for the project in the first half of 2014. Even after posting net losses in 2011 and 2012, the company laid out plans in June to invest almost $1 billion over the next five years in its petrochemical segment. Unipetrol signed a license agreement with Ineos for the right to use a production process and technology for the new polyethylene unit that will help increase utilization of its petrochemical steam cracker.   


Odebrecht plans to spend $8.1 billion in Mexico in the next five years in what appears to mark the biggest investment pledge yet from a Brazilian firm there. The company will invest in petrochemicals, renewable energy, ethanol and sugar production and highway concessions.

Petrochemical plant

Alpek has agreed to form a joint venture through its subsidiary, Petrotemex, with United Petrochemical Company. The joint venture will build a purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant in Russia’s independent republic of Bashkortostan. Each company will invest $10 million to carry out a feasibility study for the plant, with construction subject to approval by the directors of both companies. The plant would have a maximum installed capacity of 600,000 tons each of PTA and PET and would use Alpek’s IntegRex technology. The plant would use locally sourced paraxylene (PX), with negotiations currently underway with JSOC Bashneft for the feedstock supply.

EVA and LDPE plant

Saudi International Petrochemical (Sipchem) has begun operations at its new 200,000 ton/year ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant at Jubail Industrial City. The company completed the first phase, which includes installation and testing of major equipment and pre-manufactured modules, prior to completion of basic preparations for initial start up during the fourth quarter of this year.

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