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Chexpress - September 3, 2014

North America

PO/TBA Plant

LyondellBasell plans to build a propylene oxide (PO)/tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast with an annual capacity of 900 million pounds of PO and 2 billion pounds of TBA and its derivatives. The company expects to have the plant operational in 2019. The exact location of the plant has not been finalized.


NanoH20, a manufacturer of efficient and cost-effective reverse osmosis membranes for seawater desalination, has changed its operating name to LG NanoH20 Inc. The change follows the company’s recent acquisition by LG Chem, Ltd.

Chemical Complex

Sasol Ltd. has cleared a key permitting hurdle needed to begin construction on a $16-$21 billion complex near Lake Charles, Louisiana. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers approved the company’s wetland modification permit to build gas-to-liquids and ethane cracker facilities. Construction for the ethane cracker is expected to begin this year, with operations beginning in 2017. In 2016, Sasol is expected to begin construction of a gas-to-liquids facility, which will convert natural gas into diesel fuel and other liquids with a capacity of 96,000 barrels/day, opening in 2019.

Product Testing Facility

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals could spend $100 million to build a product testing facility and three buildings in Berkeley, California. A final decision on whether to move forward with the project won’t come until later this year. The potential 80,000-square-foot, three-story structure would shift testing of Bayer’s next-generation hemophilia A treatment there from the company’s main campus. Construction on the site could begin as soon as January and last two years.



3M has completed its acquisition through Sumitomo 3M Ltd. of Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd.’s 25 percent interest in Sumitomo 3M Ltd. for approximately $865 million. 3M is now the sole owner of the business, which will be known as 3M Japan Ltd.

Units Merge

Samsung Group will merge its shipbuilding and engineering units. Samsung Heavy Industries Co. will combine with Samsung Engineering Co. before the end of the year. A company spokesperson said this is the start of more restructuring that’s to be expected from the heavy-industry companies within the Samsung Group.

Petrochemical Complex

PPT Pcl is making a proposal to the Vietnamese government to build a $20 billion refinery and petrochemical complex. This proposal is revised down from an earlier project discussed two years ago. The complex has been designed to help meet Vietnam’s domestic demand for oil products and boost its exports. The $18.8 billion project now includes a 400,000 barrels/day refinery and olefins and aromatic petrochemical plants. The construction of the refinery is scheduled to be completed by 2021, with most of its products serving domestic demand in Vietnam. The petrochemical complex will have an annual production capacity of 2.9 million tons of olefins and 2 million tons of aromatic products, most of which will be exported.


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