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Business News – March 2018

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plant Watch

Air Liquide inaugurates CO2 -recovery plant in Ontario

February 12, 2018 — Air Liquide Canada, a subsidiary of the Air Liquide Group (Paris, France;, inaugurated a carbon dioxide (CO 2) recovery plant in Johnstown, Ontario. The plant is capable of producing over 200 metric tons (m.t.) per day of medical-grade CO 2.


Sabic announces expansion plans in Singapore and the Netherlands

February 12, 2018 — The Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic; Riyadh; plans to increase global capacity for high-performance engineering thermoplastic materials in Asia and the Netherlands. The planned new production facility in Singapore is expected to go online in the first half of 2021. The company also plans to recommission operations at its Bergen op Zoom resin plant in the Netherlands to produce polyphenylene ether in 2019.


KBR awarded contract for new polycarbonate plant in China

February 9, 2018 — KBR, Inc. (Houston; will provide proprietary phosgene-based interfacial polycarbonate technology, basic engineering design and proprietary equipment supply to Cangzhou Dahua New Materials Co. (CDNM) for a new 100,000-m.t./yr single-train polycarbonate plant in Cangzhou City, China. CDNM intends to further expand production to 200,000 m.t./yr.


Samsung-CB&I joint venture wins EPC contract for Adnoc refinery upgrade

February 8, 2018 — The Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (Adnoc; announced that a joint venture (JV) between Samsung Engineering Ltd. (Seoul, South Korea; and CB&I (The Woodlands, Tex.; was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a $3.1-billion upgrade project at Adnoc’s Ruwais petroleum refinery. The refinery modifications, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022, will enable the Ruwais Refinery-West complex to process up to 420,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude oil.


Henkel begins construction of aerospace materials plant in Spain

February 7, 2018 — Henkel AG & Co. KGaA (Düsseldorf, Germany; began construction of a new plant for aerospace materials at its site in Montornès del Vallès, Spain. The facility will include new buildings and equipment for expanded production capacities to support industry trends, such as lightweighting and automation.


Arkema to increase polyamide 12 production in China

February 6, 2018 — Arkema (Colombes, France; plans to increase its production capacity for polyamide 12 polymers by 25%. This new capacity will be added at Arkema’s Changshu platform in China and is expected to come onstream by mid-2020.


Chandra Asri breaks groundfor new polyethylene plant

February 5, 2018 — PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk (CAP; Jakarta, Indonesia; broke ground for a new 400,000-m.t./yr polyethylene (PE) plant in Cilegon, Banten, Indonesia. The total investment cost for the project is estimated to be around $350 million. The completion of the project is scheduled for the end of 2019, with operations commencing in early 2020.


BASF to expand production of alkyl polyglucosides in Ohio and China

February 1, 2018 — BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; will increase its global production capacity for alkyl polyglucosides with two production expansion projects at sites in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Jinshan, China. The Cincinnati unit is scheduled to come online in 2018, and the Jinshan unit is planned to start up in 2019.


Air Liquide starts up world-scale oxygen plant at Sasol’s Secunda site

February 1, 2018 — Air Liquide started up what is said to be the world’s largest oxygen production unit at Sasol Ltd.’s (Johannesburg, South Africa; site in Secunda, South Africa. Air Liquide invested around €200 million for the construction of this air separation unit, which has a total production capacity of 5,000 m.t./d of oxygen.


BASF to double MDI production capacity in Geismar

February 1, 2018 — BASF will start the construction of a new methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) synthesis unit at the company’s site in Geismar, La. in the second quarter of 2018. The new plant will double BASF’s annual MDI capacity in Geismar from 300,000 m.t./yr to nearly 600,000 m.t./yr.


Solvay to expand production of sodium bicarbonate in Rheinberg

January 31, 2018 — Solvay S.A. (Brussels, Belgium; will invest €6 million to expand sodium bicarbonate production capacity at its site in Rheinberg, Germany. Startup of the expanded facility is planned by the end of 2018. Solvay also produces sodium bicarbonate in Torrelavega, Spain.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Aquafil to acquire Invista’s Asia Pacific nylon 6 business

February 6, 2018 — Aquafil S.p.A. (Arco, Italy; has signed an agreement with Invista (Wichita, Kan.; to acquire assets related to Invista’s nylon 6 business activities in Asia. The assets to be acquired concern Invista’s business for polyamide 6 fiber in the Asia Pacific region, which has a turnover of about $50 million. Closing of the acquisition is expected by the end of March.


Johnson Matthey sells battery systems business to Cummins

January 31, 2018 — Cummins Inc. (Columbus, Ind.; acquired Johnson Matthey’s (London; U.K. automotive-battery systems business, which specializes in high-voltage automotive-grade battery systems. As part of the acquisition, Cummins and Johnson Matthey also agreed to collaborate on the development of high-energy battery materials for commercial applications.


Kaneka acquires Henkel’s benzoxazine composites business

January 31, 2018 — Henkel and Kaneka Corp.’s (Tokyo, Japan; wholly owned subsidiary, Kaneka Aerospace, LLC (KAE; San Francisco, Calif.), have finalized the transfer of commercial rights, technologies and patents of Henkel’s benzoxazine-based high-performance composites business to KAE. Included in the acquisition are benzoxazine-based prepregs, film adhesives and infusion resins.


Evonik and DSM officially launch Veramaris joint venture

January 30, 2018 — Royal DSM N.V. (Heerlen, the Netherlands; and Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; have established a new company, Veramaris V.O.F. (, for the production of omega-3 fatty acids from natural marine algae. The 50-50 JV is headquartered at the DSM Biotech Campus in Delft, the Netherlands. Veramaris is currently constructing a $200-million production facility in Blair, Nebraska, with commercial production expected to commence in 2019.


Sabic acquires 24.99% stake in Clariant

January 25, 2018 — Sabic has acquired a 24.99% stake in Clariant (Muttenz, Switzerland: This acquisition makes Sabic the largest Clariant shareholder. Sabic is currently a partner of Clariant in the U.S.-based catalyst JV Scientific Design Company, Inc.


Mexichem acquires Pennsylvania-based specialty PVC producer

January 23, 2018 — Mexichem S.A.B. de C.V. (Tlalnepantla, Mexico; has acquired Sylvin Technologies Inc., a specialty polyvinyl chloride (PVC) compounds manufacturer based in Denver, Pa., for an enterprise value of $39 million. Mexichem will consolidate Sylvin under the company’s Vinyl business group as part of its Compounds business unit.

Mary Page Bailey

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