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Business News – April 2018

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plant Watch

Evonik to construct new polyamide 12 plant at Marl Chemical Park

March 14, 2018 — Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; is planning to build a new production complex for polyamide 12 (PA 12). The group intends to increase its overall PA 12 capacity by more than 50%. Evonik plans to invest approximately €400 million in the new PA 12 complex at its Marl Chemical Park in Germany. The new PA 12 plant is expected to start up in early 2021.


Chevron Phillips starts up ethane cracker in Baytown

March 13, 2018 — Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP (The Woodlands, Tex.; has introduced feedstock and begun commercial operation of a new ethane cracker at its Cedar Bayou facility in Baytown, Tex. At peak production, the unit will produce 1.5 million metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of ethylene, which will be used at the company’s derivatives units, including the two new polyethylene units at Old Ocean, Tex.


Airgas expands presence in California with new CO 2 plant, expanded ASU

March 7, 2018 — Airgas USA, LLC (Radnor, Pa.; plans to increase its presence in California with the construction of a new liquid-carbon-dioxide production facility in Stockton and the expansion of an air separation unit (ASU) in Etiwanda. Once onstream, the two facilities will significantly increase the company’s capabilities in the state. The ASU expansion will be constructed within an existing ASU first inaugurated in 2011 by Air Liquide.


DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products to increase propanediol production capacity

March 7, 2018 — DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products, LLC, a joint venture (JV) between DuPont (Wilmington, Del.; and Tate & Lyle (London;, will expand its plant in Loudon, Tenn. to increase annual production of bio-based 1,3-propanediol by 35 million pounds. Engineering and construction is scheduled to start immediately and the expansion is expected to be completed by mid-2019.


BP licenses PTA process technology to Socar Turkey

February 28, 2018 — BP plc (London; and Socar Turkey Enerji A.Ş. have entered into a licensing agreement for BP’s latest-generation purified terephthalic acid (PTA) technology. Socar Turkey intends to deploy the technology in its new unit, which will have capacity to produce 900,000 m.t./yr of PTA, at Aliağa, Turkey, expected to come onstream by 2023.


Trinseo opens pilot plant and expanded S-SBR facility in Germany

February 28, 2018 — Trinseo (Berwyn, Pa.; marked the opening of its new pilot plant and solution-styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) capacity expansion at Schkopau, Germany. The production expansion adds an additional 50,000 m.t./yr of S-SBR capacity to the Schkopau site and increases the company’s global S-SBR production by 33%.


Lanxess expands capacity for Macrolex dyes at its Leverkusen site

February 22, 2018 — Lanxess AG (Cologne, Germany; will expand the capacity for Macrolex dyes at its Leverkusen site. With an investment volume of more than €5 million, the current production capacity is to be increased by 25%, which will be available beginning in late 2018.


Westlake to expand PVC and VCM production in Germany and the U.S.

February 20, 2018 — Westlake Chemical Corp. (Houston; will expand production capacities for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) at three of its chemical facilities. Two of the plants are located in Germany (Burghausen and Gendorf) and one is located in Geismar, Louisiana. The expansions in Burghausen and Geismar are expected to be completed in 2019. The Gendorf expansions are expected to be completed in 2020 and 2021.


Stamicarbon signs contract to license a urea plant in Brunei

February 20, 2018 — Stamicarbon B.V. (Sittard, the Netherlands; has signed a license agreement for the construction of a greenfield urea-melt plant owned by Brunei Fertilizer Industries, which will be located at Sungai Liang Industrial Park in Brunei. The urea plant will have a capacity of 3,900 m.t./d.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Huntsman acquires spray polyurethanefoam manufacturer Demilec

March 14, 2018 — Huntsman Corp. (The Woodlands, Tex.; has acquired Demilec, a manufacturer of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation systems. Demilec has two manufacturing facilities located in Arlington, Tex. and Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada. Under the terms of the agreement, Huntsman will pay $350 million in an all-cash transaction, which is expected to close by the end the second quarter of 2018.


Kuraray, PTTGC and Sumitomo to establish butadiene JV in Thailand

March 9, 2018 — Kuraray Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan;, PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC; Bangkok, Thailand; and Sumitomo Corp. (Tokyo; have signed an agreement to establish a JV company focused on producing butadiene derivatives in Thailand. Kuraray will hold 53.3% of the joint company, PTTGC will hold 33.4% and Sumitomo will own 13.3%.


Solenis acquires Belgian coatings company Topchim

March 7, 2018 — Solenis International, L.P. (Wilmington, Del.; completed the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Topchim N.V. (Antwerp, Belgium). Topchim provides ecological coatings for the European paper, cardboard and packaging converting industries.


Ecolab sells Chinese phosphonate business to Italmatch

March 7, 2018 — Ecolab Inc. (St. Paul, Minn.; has sold its phosphonate-component business in China, Jaiyou Chemical Co., which was acquired as part of its 2015 Jianghai acquisition, to Italmatch Chemicals S.p.A. (Genova, Italy; The deal includes the acquisition of the entire antiscalant business and assets relating to phosphonate production and sales.


Mitsubishi Chemical and Linde Engineering enter technology transfer

March 1, 2018 — The Engineering Division of The Linde Group (Munich, Germany; and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC; Tokyo; have concluded an agreement for the transfer of MCC’s hydrodealkylation (HDA) technology to Linde. The HDA technology mainly converts toluene and other aromatic components into high-purity benzene. The technology transfer to Linde is expected to be completed by June 2018.


Norsk Hydro acquires aluminum assets in Iceland, Sweden and the Netherlands

February 27, 2018 — Norsk Hydro ASA (Oslo, Norway; has offered to acquire Rio Tinto’s 100% share in Icelandic aluminum plant ISAL. ISAL produces 210,000 m.t./yr of liquid metal and 230,000 m.t./yr of extrusion ingot. With the transaction, Norsk Hydro will also acquire Rio Tinto’s 53% share in Dutch anode facility Aluminum & Chemie Rotterdam B.V. and 50% of the shares in Swedish aluminum fluoride plant Alufluor AB for $345 million.


LyondellBasell to acquire A. Schulman for $2.25 billion

February 16, 2018 — LyondellBasell (Rotterdam, the Netherlands; and A. Schulman, Inc. (Akron, Ohio; have entered into a definitive agreement under which LyondellBasell will acquire A. Schulman for a total consideration of $2.25 billion. The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2018.


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