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Business News October 2017

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plant Watch

AkzoNobel opens paint manufacturing facility in the U.K.

September 12, 2017 — Akzo Nobel N.V. (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; has opened its €100-million paints production plant in Ashington, U.K. The factory will be capable of doubling AkzoNobel’scurrent U.K. production levels to 200 million L/yr. The facility also has capacity to expand in order to support future growth plans.


Solvay to begin PEKK production in the U.S.

September 12, 2017 — In early 2018, Solvay S.A. (Brussels, Belgium; will begin producing polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) polymers at its site in Augusta, Ga. to support its global composite materials business. PEKK is used in thermoplastic composites reinforced with carbon fibers and in additive manufacturing for a range of industrial applications.


CB&I to provide process technology for PDH plant in China

September 11, 2017 — CB&I (The Woodlands, Tex.; was awarded a contract by Xuzhou HaiDing Chemical Technology Co. for the license and engineering design of a grassroots propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit to be built in Pizhou, Jiangsu Province, China. The unit will use CB&I’s catalytic dehydrogenation technology and a customized catalyst from Clariant (Muttenz, Switzerland; to produce 600,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of propylene.


Kemira starts up sodium chlorate production plant in Finland

September 11, 2017 — Kemira Oyj (Helsinki, Finland; has finalized its approximately €50-million investment in a new sodium chlorate production line in Joutseno, Finland. The production of sodium chlorate has started and full capacity is expected to be achieved by the end of 2017. The new production line will significantly increase the Joutseno site’s current sodium chlorate capacity.


Ineos announces plans to construct VAM plant in Europe

September 5, 2017 — Ineos Technologies (London; is planning to build a vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant with a production capacity of 300,000 m.t./yr. The company is completing an engineering study into the construction of the plant that will also support the decision for the plant location, likely to be one of Ineos Oxide’s integrated sites at Hull, U.K., Cologne, Germany or Antwerp, Belgium.


Toyo awarded petrochemical project in Indonesia

September 4, 2017 — Toyo Engineering Group (Chiba, Japan; has been awarded a construction project from PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk (CAP; Jakarta, Indonesia; that involves construction of a polyethylene production unit with a total capacity of 400,000 m.t./yr at CAP’s existing petrochemical complex in Cilegon, Java, Indonesia. The plant is scheduled for completion in 2019.


Eastman announces projects to increase CHDM production capacity

September 1, 2017 — Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, Tenn.; announced multiple projects to increase 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol (CHDM) capacity at its Kingsport manufacturing facility. The series of debottlenecks and expansion projects will increase capacity by 15,000 m.t./yr. All projects are expected to be complete by early 2019.


Sumitomo’s propylene oxide technology selected for new PTTGC project

August 31, 2017 — Sumitomo Chemical Corp. (Tokyo, Japan; will license its process technology for producing propylene oxide (PO) to PTT Global Chemical Co. (PTTGC; Bangkok, Thailand; for a project to construct new plants for PO and polyols. The new PO plant will have a production capacity of 200,000 m.t./yr, with completion planned in 2020.


Toray to build polyphenylene sulfide plant in Hungary

August 25, 2017 — Toray Industries, Inc. (Tokyo, Japan; will construct a new polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) production facility at the Hungarian site of its U.S subsidiary Zoltek Companies, Inc. It is Toray’s first resin compound production facility in Europe and is expected to start operations in March 2018, producing 3,000 m.t./yr of PPS.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Air Products forms JV with Lu’An Clean Energy in China

September 11, 2017 — Air Products (Lehigh Valley, Pa.; will form a $1.3-billion joint venture (JV) with Lu’An Clean Energy Co. to serve a syngas-to-liquids production facility in Changzhi City, China. Air Products has already invested $300 million in four large air separation units (ASUs) at the site. Under the new agreement, Air Products will invest $500 million for a 60% ownership in the new JV, to be called Air Products Lu’an (Changzhi) Co.

H.B. Fuller to purchase Royal Adhesives & Sealants

September 11, 2017 — H.B. Fuller Co. (St. Paul, Minn.; has agreed to purchase Royal Adhesives & Sealants (South Bend, Ind.; for a purchase price of $1.575 billion, subject to customary adjustments. This acquisition is expected to generate approximately $650 million in revenue for H.B. Fuller’s fiscal year 2017.


Aveva to merge with Schneider Electric

September 5, 2017 — Schneider Electric SE (Rueil-Malmaison, France; and Aveva Group plc (Cambridge, U.K.; reached agreement on the terms and conditions of a combination of Aveva and the Schneider Electric industrial software business. The transaction will form an enlarged global software group worth around£3 billion (nearly $4 billion).


W.R. Grace to acquire selected assets from Evonik and Huber

August 29, 2017 — W. R. Grace & Co. (Columbia, Md.; agreed to acquire certain assets from Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; following the close of Evonik’s acquisition of J.M. Huber Corp.’s (Edison, N.J.; silicas business. The assets to be acquired include Evonik’s Sident precipitated-silica product range and J.M. Huber’s Zeofoam and Zeoflo defoamer and anti-caking products.


ExxonMobil completes acquisition of aromatics assets in Singapore

August 28, 2017 — The Singapore affiliate of ExxonMobil Chemical Co. (Houston; has completed its acquisition of one of the world’s largest aromatics facilities on Jurong Island in Singapore. The acquisition will increase ExxonMobil’s Singapore aromatics production to over 3.5 million m.t./yr, including 1.8 million m.t./yr of p-xylene, and add about 65,000 bbl/d of transportation fuels capacity.


Ingevity to acquire Georgia-Pacific’s pine chemicals business

August 23, 2017 — Ingevity Corp. (North Charleston, S.C.; will acquire Georgia-Pacific’s (Atlanta, Ga.; pine chemicals business for $315 million. The acquired business manufactures pine-based tall-oil fatty acids, tall-oil rosin and tall-oil rosin esters used in adhesives, cleaners, paints, coatings and inks, as well as fluids used for metalworking, mining, packaging and rubber processing.


Toyo to divest selected chemicals assets to Sekisui and Nitta

August 22, 2017 — Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. (TTR; Hyogo, Japan; has announced the divestiture of a significant portion of its chemicals-related assets. TTR will divest its Rigid Polyurethane Foam Business to Sekisui Chemical Co. (Osaka; TTR also plans to divest its Chemical Industrial Products business to Nitta Corp. (Osaka;


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