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Business News – September 2017

By Chemical Engineering |

Plant Watch

$8-billion phosphate megaproject starts up in Saudi Arabia

August 11, 2017 — Fluor Corp. (Irving, Tex.; announced that the Ma’aden Wa’ad Al-Shamal Phosphate Co.’s Umm Wu’al Phosphate Project in Saudi Arabia has started production. Fluor is providing overall program-management services for this $8-billion megaproject, which will deliver 3 million metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of diammonium phosphate and nitrogen, as well as phosphorus and potash fertilizers.


Ineos Styrolution to increase compounding capacity in India

August 10, 2017 — Ineos Styrolution (Frankfurt am Main, Germany; to increase its compounding capacity for engineering plastics by an additional 34,000 m.t./yr at its Moxi plant in Gujarat, India. Projected for completion in 2019, this expansion will increase Styrolution’s compounding capacity to 100,000 m.t./yr at the site. This project will involve an estimatedcapital expenditure of $20 million.


Fluor awarded EPCM contract for Petronas isononanol plant

August 8, 2017 — Fluor was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract by Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Corp. (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; for an isononanol plant located in Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia. The facility will produce 250,000 m.t./yr of isononanol, and startup is expected in 2019.


Mexichem starts up expanded specialty-PVC facility in Marl

August 4, 2017 — Vestolit GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of Mexichem S.A.B. de C.V. (Tlalnepantla, Mexico;, has started up a specialty polyvinyl chloride (PVC) capacity expansion in Marl, Germany. With this expansion, Mexichem has installed a new production line with additional drying capacity of 40,000 m.t. for PVC products.


Linde to construct two ASUs for Wanhua Chemical Group in China

July 28, 2017 — The Linde Group (Munich, Germany; signed an agreement with isocyante producer Wanhua Chemical Group to expand the supply of gas to Wanhua’s Yantai, China operations. Under the agreement, Linde will invest €108 million to build two additional steam-driven air-separation units (ASUs) which are expected to come onstream in 2019, complementing the two existing ASUs.


Ineos to build world-scale cumene plant in Germany

July 28, 2017 — Ineos’ (London, U.K.; Phenol division is planning to build a world-scale cumene plant in Germany with startup scheduled in 2020. The construction of a new cumene plant will improve the security of raw material supply to Ineos’ phenol and acetone plants located in Gladbeck, Germany and Antwerp, Belgium.


Indorama inauguratesfertilizer plant in Nigeria

July 28, 2017 — Indorama Ventures Public Ltd. (Bangkok, Thailand; announced the inauguration of a fertilizer plant located in Nigeria, built by Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Ltd. at a cost of $1.5 billion. The plant has a production capacity of 4,000 m.t./d of nitrogenous fertilizers.


Mitsui Chemicals increases global PP processing capabilities

July 26, 2017 — Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (Tokyo, Japan; announced that augmentation has been completed at three of its global polypropylene (PP) compound hubs in the U.S., Mexico and India. In India, the company started up one new production line, followed by two new lines in the U.S. and one new line in Mexico. Together, the expansions raise global production capacity by 50,000 m.t./yr to a total of 1.05 million m.t./yr.


Indorama completes PTA expansion in Rotterdam

July 26, 2017 — Indorama completed the brownfield expansion of its purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, resulting in an increase in PTA capacity from 380,000 to 700,000 m.t./yr. The Rotterdam facility’s PTA is used as a major feedstock of the site’s integrated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) production plant.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Airgas to sell refrigerants business for $220 million

August 11, 2017 — Airgas (Radnor, Pa.; has signed an agreement with Hudson Technologies, Inc. (Pearl River, N.Y.; to sell Airgas-Refrigerants, Inc. (ARI), its subsidiary specializing in the distribution, packaging and reclamation of refrigerant gases. The transaction, which is expected to close before the end of 2017, is said to be valued at around $220 million.


CB&I intends to sell its Technology business

August 10, 2017 — CB&I (The Woodlands, Tex.; intends to sell the company’s Technology business. CB&I is aiming to close the transaction by the end of 2017. CB&I’s Technology business provides proprietary process licenses, project-development services and aftermarket support primarily for the petrochemical and petroleum-refining industries. The sale is also intended to include the former Engineered Products business, which specializes in equipment modularization, proprietary equipment and engineering services.


Altana acquires packaging and additive manufacturing assets

August 10, 2017 — Altana AG (Wesel, Germany; has acquired a technology portfolio and research-and-development platform from U.S.-based NuLabel Technologies, Inc. It comprises technologies for additive manufacturing and resealable packaging that use lower quantities of consumable materials. The acquired technologies will be integrated into Altana’s Actega North America division.


Showa Denko to acquire silicon-carbide manufacturing assets

August 7, 2017 — By the end of January 2018, Showa Denko K.K. (SDK; Tokyo, Japan; will acquire assets concerning the Sublimation-Recrystallization Method for manufacturing silicon carbide (SiC) wafers from Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. (NSSMC) and Nippon Steel & Sumikin Materials Co. (NSMAT).


Tronox to sell Alkali Chemicals business for $1.3 billion

August 3, 2017 — Tronox Ltd. (Stamford, Conn.; announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Alkali Chemicals business to Genesis Energy, L.P. (Houston; for $1.325 billion in cash. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2017, subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions. Alkali Chemicals is said to be the world’s largest producer of natural soda ash, and has mining and processing facilities in Green River, Wyo.


Jacobs Engineering acquires CH2M Hill

August 2, 2017 — Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (Dallas, Tex.; will acquire all of the outstanding shares of CH2M Hill Companies Ltd. (Englewood, Colo.; in a cash and stock transaction with an enterprise value of approximately $3.27 billion. CH2M is a leader in key sectors that Jacobs has previously targeted for growth, including water and environmental services.


Yokogawa acquires Norwegian chemical-injection specialist

July 24, 2017 — Yokogawa Electric Corp. (Tokyo, Japan; announced the acquisition of TechInvent AS, a Norwegian enterprise that holds the rights to FluidCom, a chemical injection metering valve (CIMV) technology. FluidCom prevents blockages and corrosion in pipelines, and employs a patented technology for thermal control. It incorporates the functions of a mass flowmeter, control valve and valve controller. ■

Mary Page Bailey

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