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Chexpress - April 2, 2014

North America


3M is expanding its residential water business and will soon have hundreds of dealers selling 3M-branded water softeners and kitchen-sink filters to households around the United States. So far, 3M’s residential water division has contracted with 35 full-service dealers to spread the word about its products and compete with Culligan, Pentair and other water-filtration companies. The plan calls for 3M to brand its home equipment for the first time and for nearly 1,200 3M-labeled trucks to circulate neighborhoods by 2017.


Clean water startup NanoH20 is being acquired by LG Chem for $200 million. NanoH20 makes technology that can clean water, particularly seawater, with low amounts of energy. NanoH20 has developed nanotechnology-enabled reverse-osmosis membranes for desalinating water that are supposed to be more production and use less energy than traditional desalination membranes. NanoH20’s membranes are engineered to be more permeable than standard ones.


FMC Corporation will split into two publically traded companies. The plan is to split the agricultural and nutrition segments off from the company’s industrial minerals divisions. The first company – “New FMC” – will consist of the Agricultural Solutions and Health and Nutrition segments, including EPAX, which FMC acquired for $345 million in 2013. In addition to EPAX omega-3s expertise, New FMC will also have considerable expertise in marine-soured ingredients. The second company – “FMC Minerals” – will consist of the company’s current industrial minerals segment. Both companies are expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.




Colombia’s 80,000 barrel-day single crude distillation unit at the Cartagena refinery has been stopped to undergo a planned expansion at the facility that will double its capacity by 2015. The cracking unit was previously stopped last year as part of the same expansion project, which will cost $6 billion. The effort is part of a broader push by Ecopetrol to lift refinery capacity to replace imports while also boosting exports.


Petroperu will sign a contract in April to start work on a $3.5 billion refinery expansion with Tecnicas Reunidas. The project is aimed at increasing output at the Talara refinery by 50 percent to around 96,000 barrels/day. Boosting capacity at this facility is central to President Ollanta Humala’s goal of transforming Petroperu into a bigger regional energy player. Upgrades are scheduled to begin this year and end in 2017.


Petrovietnam Gas Corp., a subsidiary of Petrovietnam, has signed a contract to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a Singapore-based subsidiary of Gazprom. No details on pricing or volume were released. Gazprom’s LNG will be delivered to PV Gas’ LNG terminal in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, which has an annual capacity of 1 million tons and will become operational in 2017.



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