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Business News for July 2018

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plant Watch

Arkema to expand polyamide powder production capacity in France

June 6, 2018 — Arkema (Colombes, France; plans to expand its global production capacity for specialty polyamide powders marketed under the brand name Orgasol by more than 50% at its Mont, France site. The investment for this project is around €20 million. The new capacity is expected to come onstream in the second half of 2019.


Ineos moves forward with Gulf Coast ethylene-oxide project

June 6, 2018 — Ineos (Rolle Switzerland; is moving forward with the next stage of its project to construct an ethylene-oxide (EO) and ethylene-oxide-derivatives (EOD) facility on the U.S. Gulf Coast. It is planned that the plant will be operational in 2022. The plant is expected to produce around 270,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of EO, with ethoxylate derivative capacity onsite.


DuPont invests $400 million in Tyvek expansion in Luxembourg

June 6, 2018 — DuPont Safety & Construction, a business unit of DuPont (Wilmington, Del.;, announced plans to invest more than $400 million to expand capacity for the manufacture of Tyvek nonwoven materials at its facility in Luxembourg. The production expansion, which will add a new building and third operating line at the site, is scheduled to start up in 2021.


Toyo wins engineering contract from Chandra Asri

June 1, 2018 — Toyo Engineering Group (Chiba, Japan; was awarded a contract by PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk (CAP; Jakarta, Indonesia; that involves the construction of a 1-butene production unit with capacity of 43,000 m.t./yr and a methyl tert-butyl ether unit with capacity of 127,000 m.t./yr, as well as an enclosed ground flare with capacity of 220 m.t./h. The units will be constructed inside CAP’s existing petrochemical complex in Cilegon, Java, Indonesia. The plant is scheduled for completion in 2020.


Umicore selects Poland to build new cathode-materials plant

June 1, 2018 — Umicore N.V. (Brussels, Belgium; has selected Nysa, Poland as the location for a production plant to manufacture battery cathode materials for the European automotive market, part of a €660-million investment program announced earlier this year. The plant is expected to start commercial production in late 2020.


BASF opens electronic-grade sulfuric-acid plant in China

June 1, 2018 — BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; started operations at a new electronic-grade sulfuric-acid plant in Jiaxing, China, to serve the country’s growing semiconductor industry. Furthermore, the plant has simultaneously started an expansion phase to double the production capacity before the completion of the facility. The expansion phase is expected to be operational by the end of the year.


Arkema plans to double thiochemicals production at Beaumont site

June 1, 2018 — Arkema has confirmed plans to double production capacities at its Beaumont Thiochemicals site in Texas. Subject to a final investment decision, expected to be made at the end of 2018, the new units should come onstream by the summer of 2021. The expanded capacity would supply sulfur derivatives for the new methionine-hydroxy-analogue production unit to be built by Novus International, Inc.


Ascend Performance Materials to expand adiponitrile production capacity

June 1, 2018 — Ascend Performance Materials, LLC (Houston; announced plans to expand its adiponitrile (ADN) capacity through 2022. In total, Ascend will grow its ADN capacity by 220,000 m.t. by 2022 to meet increasing demand. Ascend completed its first expansion of 50,000 m.t. at the end of 2017. An additional 40,000-m.t. expansion will be completed by the end of 2018, with plans for an additional 180,000 m.t. of capacity to be realized by 2022.


Oxea achieves mechanical completion of Bay City propanol plant

May 29, 2018 —Oxea GmbH (Monheim am Rhein, Germany; reached mechanical completion of a new propanol production unit at its Bay City site in Texas. With a nameplate capacity of 100,000 m.t./yr of propanol, the new facility is now being commissioned and is scheduled for commercial production in the third quarter of 2018.


AkzoNobel to expand production of organic peroxides in India

May 24, 2018 —AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; broke ground on a project to upgrade its organic peroxides facility in Mahad, India. The €4-million investment will increase capacity by 80% and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The company is also investing in a monochloroacetic acid project in Gujarat, due to start production in 2019.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Hitachi Chemical signs licensing agreement with Silatronix

June 5, 2018 — Hitachi Chemical Co. (Tokyo, Japan; and Silatronix, Inc. (Madison, Wisc.; have entered into a licensing agreement concerning the manufacturing and use of Silatronix’s patented organosilicon compounds as an electrolyte material in additives for Hitachi Chemical’s anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. Hitachi Chemical will continue to evaluate battery performance to consider the commercialization of the additive.


Hexcel forms aerospace composites joint venture in China

June 1, 2018 — Hexcel Corp. (Stamford, Conn.; has formed a joint venture (JV) with aerospace parts manufacturer Future Aerospace to establish a materials-testing laboratory in China. The new JV, Shanghai Future Aerospace Hexcel Commercial Composite Testing Ltd., will be located in Lingang, China. Operations at the new site are expected to begin in September 2018.


PolyOne acquires composite specialist PlastiComp

June 1, 2018 — PolyOne Corporation (Cleveland, Ohio; has acquired PlastiComp, a producer of specialty composites and advanced engineered materials based in Minnesota. Founded in 2003, PlastiComp has steadily grown through its ability to replace metal and lightweight products with complex long-fiber-technology (LFT) composite formulations.


Sadara and Veolia sign MOU for sustainable utilities

May 30, 2018 — Sadara Chemical Co. (Jubail, Saudi Arabia; has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Veolia (Paris, France; to construct a sustainable central utilities facility in PlasChem Park adjacent to the Sadara Chemical Complex. The utilities facility will incinerate industrial wastes and recover the heat to produce a usable steam byproduct.


DuPont divests Alginates business to JRS Group

May 29, 2018 — DuPont Nutrition & Health has received approval from the European Commission to divest its Alginates business unit to JRS Group, a manufacturer of functional additives from plant-based raw materials. The divestiture is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018. The acquired business comprises pure and buffered alginates, a specific portfolio of pectin-alginate blends and an associated production site in Landerneau, France.


Milliken and Oxiteno enter co-manufacturing agreement

May 25, 2018 — Milliken & Co. (Spartanburg, S.C.; and Oxiteno (São Paulo, Brazil; have entered into a multi-year co-manufacturing agreement, which will utilize Oxiteno’s new alkoxylation unit in Pasadena, Tex. The facility, expected to open in the second quarter of 2018, incorporates alkoxylation assets and technologies, and has a nameplate capacity of 170,000 m.t./yr.


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