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Business News November 2017

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plant Watch

Inovyn starts up KOH plant in Belgium

October 13, 2017 — Inovyn (London, U.K.; announced the completion of its new potassium hydroxide (KOH) production facility at its Antwerp/Lillo site in Belgium. The new plant uses membrane technology to produce 155,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of KOH with 100,000 m.t./yr of chlorine.


AkzoNobel doubling capacity at organic peroxides plant in Ningbo

October 12, 2017 — AkzoNobel’s (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Specialty Chemicals business has entered the next phase of a major expansion at its organic peroxides facility in Ningbo, China, which produces dicumyl peroxide (DCP). Capacity at the site was boosted by 40% in August, and is set to double to a capacity of 38,000 m.t./yr by the third quarter of 2018.


Songwon commissions second thermoplastic urethanes production line

October 9, 2017 — Songwon Industrial Ltd. (Ulsan, South Korea; has commissioned a second thermoplastic urethane (TPU) production line at its plant in Suwon, South Korea. The new production line will increase TPU capacity from 7,000 to 12,000 m.t./yr.


Solvay to expand production of sulfone polymers in India and the U.S.

October 6, 2017 — Solvay S.A. (Brussels Belgium; is expanding its global production capacity for sulfone polymers in India and the U.S. Solvay is constructing a new production unit dedicated to polyethersulfone in Panoli, India. Capacity increases are also occurring at Solvay’s units in Marietta, Ohio and Augusta, Georgia.


Mitsui Chemicals starts production at expanded thermoplastic elastomers plant

October 5, 2017 — Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (Tokyo; commenced operations on a one-line production augmentation for thermoplastic olefinic elastomers at its wholly owned subsidiary Sun Alloys Co. This expansion will increase the company’s annual production capacity for these products from 20,000 to 25,000 m.t./yr.


Ineos to increase production capacity for ethylidene norbornene

October 3, 2017 — Ineos (London; plans to expand its ethylidene norbornene (ENB) plant in Antwerp, increasing capacity by 7,500 m.t./yr to 35,500 m.t./yr. The capacity will be available by the end of 2018. ENB is used primarily in the production of ethylene-propylene-diene rubber (EPDM).


Wacker to expand production facilities for dispersions and powders in South Korea

September 28, 2017 — Wacker Chemie AG (Munich, Germany; is investing €60 million to expand its production plants for polymer binders in Ulsan, South Korea. The company plans to build a new spray dryer for dispersible polymer powders, which will have a total capacity of 80,000 m.t./yr. Wacker also plans to build a new reactor, which will more than double the Ulsan plant’s dispersion capacity for vinyl acetate ethylene copolymer.


Cargill to build biodiesel plant in Wichita

September 26, 2017 — Cargill, Inc. (Minneapolis, Minn.; plans to build a $90-million biodiesel plant in Wichita, Kan. Set to open January 2019, the new plant will produce 60 million gal/yr of biodiesel. The plant will be located next to Cargill’s oilseed processing plant and replaces an oil refinery managed by Cargill’s Global Edible Oil business.


Mergers & Acquisitions

BASF to acquire selected herbicide assets from Bayer

October 13, 2017 — BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; has signed an agreement to acquire significant parts of Bayer AG’s (Leverkusen, Germany; seed and non-selective herbicide businesses for a purchase price of €5.9 billion. The assets to be acquired include Bayer’s global glufosinate-ammonium non-selective herbicide business.


Indorama will acquire DuPont Teijin Films

October 10, 2017 — Indorama Ventures Public Ltd. (IVL; Bangkok, Thailand; agreed to acquire DuPont Teijin Films (DTF), a producer of biaxially oriented polyethylene terephthalate and polyethylene naphthalate films with total film and polymer capacity of 277,000 m.t./yr. The DTF acquisition includes eight production assets in the U.S., Europe and China.


Statoil, Shell and Total enter CO 2 storage partnership

October 2, 2017 — Statoil (Trondheim, Norway;, Royal Dutch Shell (The Hague, the Netherlands; and Total S.A. (Paris; have signed a partnership agreement to develop full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Norway. The first phase of this project could reach a CO 2 storage capacity of approximately 1.5 million m.t./yr. The project will also be designed to accommodate future additional CO 2 volumes.


Neste to take full ownership ofNeste Jacobs joint venture

September 29, 2017 — Neste Corp. (Espoo, Finland; and Jacobs Engineering Group (Dallas, Tex.; have agreed that Neste will acquire Jacobs’ 40% shareholding in the Neste Jacobs Oy joint venture (JV). After this transaction, Neste will hold all shares in Neste Jacobs.


Ecolab to acquire Georgia-Pacific’s paper chemicals business

September 29, 2017 — Ecolab Inc. (St. Paul, Minn.; will acquire the paper chemicals business of Georgia-Pacific (Atlanta, Ga.; This acquisition will enhance Ecolab’s position in the growing tissue and towel segment, as well as the packaging and board segments of the paper industry. The paper chemicals business had revenues of approximately $43 million in 2016.


Kemira to form new fatty-acid JV in China

September 29, 2017 — Kemira Oyj (Helsinki, Finland; has signed an agreement to form a JV — Kemira TC Wanfeng Chemicals Yanzhou — with Shandong Tiancheng Wanfeng Chemical Technology Co. The JV will mainly produce alkyl-ketene-dimer wax and its key raw material, fatty-acid chloride, along with polyaluminum chloride, which is a water-treatment coagulant. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2018.


BASF to divest Austrian dispersions plant to Synthomer

September 27, 2017 — Synthomer plc’s (Essex, U.K.; Austrian subsidiary has signed a contract to purchase BASF’s production site for styrene butadiene dispersions in Pischelsdorf, Austria, for €30 million. The transaction requires authorization by the relevant merger-control authorities and is expected to be completed by late January 2018.


Kuraray to acquire Calgon Carbon for $1.3 billion

September 21, 2017 — Calgon Carbon Corp. (Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Kuraray Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan; have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which Kuraray will acquire Calgon Carbon in a transaction valued in excess of $1.3 billion. The parties are targeting a closing by the end of December 2017.


Solvay sells global polyamide business to BASF for €1.6 billion

September 21, 2017 — BASF and Solvay have signed an agreement related to the sale of Solvay’s integrated polyamide business to BASF for a purchase price of €1.6 billion. The purchase will strengthen BASF’s polyamide 6,6 value chain through increased polymerization capacities and the backward integration into the key raw material adipodinitrile.


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