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Chexpress - December 9, 2010

North America

Ethane Cracking

The Dow Chemical Co. plans to increase ethane cracking capabilities on the U.S. Gulf Coast during the next two to three years. The company’s goal is to improve its ethane cracking capabilities by 20 to 30 percent.

Ethylene Tetramerization Unit

Sasol has announced plans to construct the world’s first commercial ethylene tetramerization unit at its production site in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The unit will be capable of producing more than 100,000 metric tons/year of combined 1-octene and 1-hexene. Construction will begin in 2011, and the plant is scheduled to reach beneficial operation in mid-2013.

Fertilizer Facility

Helena Chemical Company will break ground on a new fertilizer facility in Huntington, Indiana that will employ up to 20 people by 2013. Construction will start early next year and the facility is scheduled to open in the spring of 2012.

Helium Plant

Matheson and Air Products have begun construction on a jointly owned liquid helium production plant near Big Piney, Wyoming. Designed to produce 200 million standard cubic feet/year at startup, with expectations for future expansion to 400 million standard cubic feet/year, the plant will process crude helium produced by a natural gas processing facility operated by Cimarex Energy Co.


Memorandum of Understanding

BASF and Petronas have signed a memorandum of understanding for a $1.3 billion complex in Malaysia that would produce a range of specialty chemicals. The new plant would complement the petrochemical complex in Kuantan that the partners have jointly operated for the past 10 years.

Joint Venture

BASF and Ineos have combined their styrenics businesses into a joint venture called Styrolution. The 50-50 joint venture will operate 29 plants in 11 countries and employ more than 3,000 people. The Styrolution headquarters will be in Frankfurt, Germany. In addition to styrene and polystyrene, the venture will include acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, styrene-butadiene block copolymers, and various specialty styrenic polymers.


Solutia will upgrade its facility in Gent, Belgium to produce multi-layer rolls of Saflex Q serices advanced acoustic polyvinyl butyral (PVB) sheet for automotive applications. The expansion will serve the growing global demand for acoustic glazing. The additional capacity will build on Solutia’s current automotive acoustic production capacity in Santo Toribio, Mexico.


Solutia will expand its current operations to include additional production lines supporting Vistasolar ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) encapsulant at its Suzhou, China facility by late 2011.

New Plant

Albemarle Corp. and Petrobras plan to build a hydroprocessing catalyst production plant in Santa Cruz, Brail. The companies expect significant demand growth for these catalysts as Brazil begins to implement stricter specifications for ultra-low sulfur diesel. The memorandum of understanding states that the companies plan to construct the plant at the site of their joint venture, Fabrica Carioca de Catalisadores SA.

Ethylene Plant

The Shaw Group Inc. has been selected by GAIL (India) Limited (GAIL) to provide its proprietary technology and basic engineering for a new 450,000 tons/year ethylene plant. Shaw will also provide support during detailed engineering, procurement and construction, and commissioning and startup of the plant. The plant will be a part of GAIL’s petrochemical complex in Pata, Uttar Pradesh, India.


Arkema plans to acquire the Coatings Resins (Cray Valley and Cook Composite Polymers) and Photocure Resins (Sartomer) businesses of Total’s Speciality Chemicals activities for EUR550M. This acquisition is in line with Arkema’s strategy to bolster its specialty product activities. It further increases the downstream integration of Arkema’s acrylics chain.

Joint Venture

Nalco’s Russian subsidiary has formed a joint venture with OAO LUKOIL to provide energy chemicals and services in western Siberia. The joint venture, OOO Kogalym Chemicals Plant, will be based in Kogalym, West Siberia, Russia. It will provide LUKOIL production operations in West Siberia with Nalco’s upstream chemical technologies and services. The joint venture will be majority controlled by Nalco. Production volume for the joint venture is planned to increase seven fold by 2015, from an expected 4,000 tons to 28,000 tons/year.

Chris Haslego
Dec 09 2010 12:01 AM
Congratulations on the move. Welcome to the community!


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