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Plant Watch: Business News for August 2018

By Chemical Engineering |

Plant Watch

BASF to expand global antioxidant production capacities

July 10, 2018 — BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; plans to increase the global production capacity for its antioxidant Irganox 1010 by 40% with production expansion projects at its sites in Jurong, Singapore and Kaisten, Switzerland. Expanded production in Switzerland and Singapore will start up in 2019 and early 2021, respectively. In addition, BASF is investing in its McIntosh, Alabama facility to further expand capacity.


AkzoNobel to increase production of chloromethanes in Frankfurt

July 5, 2018 — AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; has started design work for a second expansion of chloromethanes capacity at its site in Frankfurt, Germany. The project will take place in several steps over the next five years and will raise total capacity by up to 50%. The new expansion phase will begin with an increase in capacity for methyl chloride, to be completed in 2020.


KBR to revamp Haifa Chemicals’ nitric acid plant

July 5, 2018 — KBR, Inc. (Houston; has been awarded a plant revamp contract by Haifa Chemicals Ltd. (Matam-Haifa, Israel; for its nitric acid plant in Mishor-Rotem, Israel. KBR will provide a complete system for the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of nitrogen oxides, with additional catalyst beds for N 2 O and NH 3 slip abatement. The SCR system will be integrated into two existing nitric acid plants operated by Haifa with capacities of 240 and 147 metric tons per day (m.t./d).


Sipchem begins commercial operation of PBT plant

July 3, 2018 — Saudi International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem; Jubail, Saudi Arabia; commenced commercial operations at a new polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) plant located in Jubail Industrial City. The total production capacity of the PBT plant is 63,000 m.t./yr. PBT is a specialty thermal engineering polymer used in many applications, including automotive and electronics products.


Ineos confirms €2.7-billion investment in ethane cracker and PDH unit

July 3, 2018 — Ineos (London; has approved a €2.7-billion capital project to build both a world-scale ethane cracker and a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit in Northern Europe. According to Ineos, this will be the first new cracker built in Europe in two decades. The project is expected to be completed within four years.


AkzoNobel to invest in second chlorine production line in Rotterdam

July 3, 2018 — AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals plans to upgrade its chlor-alkali plant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, by investing in a second production line for chlorine and caustic soda, and will also implement a series of other upgrades. Construction is expected to start in 2019, and the new production line is due for completion by 2021.


Johnson Matthey building demonstration plant for next-generation battery material

July 2, 2018 — Johnson Matthey p.l.c. (JM; London, U.K.; is building a demonstration-scale plant in Clitheroe, U.K. to manufacture the next-generation battery material eLNO to power electric vehicles. The new plant will have a production capacity of 1,000 m.t./yr. Work is also underway on the design of JM’s first full-scale commercial manufacturing plant for eLNO, due to start production in 2021 or 2022.


Evonik to expand precipitated silica capacity in Turkey

July 2, 2018 — Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; plans to increase its production capacity for precipitated silica at an existing site in Adapazari, Turkey by 40,000 m.t./yr. Startup of the new production complex is scheduled for 2020.


Linde expands manufacturing capacity for fluorine-nitrogen mixtures in Oregon

July 2, 2018 — Linde AG (Munich, Germany; has expanded capacity for fluorine-nitrogen mixtures for etching and cleaning applications in semiconductor manufacturing at its site in Medford, Oregon. This allows both low- and high-pressure fluorine and nitrogen mixture production and onsite high-purity fluorine production. Furthermore, the product line is expanding to include fluorine-argon mixtures in place with tri-mix capability (fluorine-argon-nitrogen) later in 2018.


SK Advanced and PolyMirae to build polypropylene plant in Ulsan

June 27, 2018 — PolyMirae Co., a 50/50 joint venture (JV) between LyondellBasell (Rotterdam, the Netherlands; and Daelim Industrial (Seoul, South Korea;, announced that it would establish a JV with SK Advanced (Ulsan, South Korea; The new JV intends to build a 400,000-m.t./yr polypropylene plant in Ulsan. Construction on the project will begin in January 2019 and commercial operation will begin in the first half of 2021.


Mergers & Acquisitions

HollyFrontier to acquire Iowa-based lubricants company

July 10, 2018 — HollyFrontier Corp. (Dallas, Tex.; entered into a definitive agreement to acquire lubricants manufacturer Red Giant Oil Co. Based in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Red Giant Oil has storage facilities in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming, along with a blending and packaging facility in Texas.


Mexichem acquires Pemex share of PMV

July 9, 2018 — Mexichem S.A.B. de C.V. (Tlalnepantla, Mexico; reached an agreement for the acquisition of Pemex’s (Mexico City; 44.09% share in Petroquímica Mexicana de Vinilo, S.A. de C.V. (PMV). The acquisition amounts to approximately $178.7 million, and occurs as PMV is refocusing its value chain on salt, chlorine and caustic soda.


Mitsubishi Chemical to acquire PVC manufacturer in Indonesia

July 9, 2018 — Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC; Tokyo; plans to acquire 100% of the shares of PT. ABC Plastindo, a producer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) compounds based in Tanggerang, Indonesia. With the acquisition of Plastindo, MCC will further accelerate its business expansion into the automotive and electronic-cable fields.


BASF acquires two manufacturers of 3D-printing materials

July 6, 2018 — BASF has acquired Advanc3D Materials GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) and Setup Performance SAS (Lyon, France). Advanc3D Materials offers tailor-made plastic powders and formulations for selective laser sintering (SLS). Setup Performance is Advanc3D Materials’ partner in the development and manufacture of SLS materials. BASF is integrating both companies into its subsidiary BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH (B3DPS).


Praxair to sell European assets to Taiyo Nippon Sanso

July 5, 2018 — Praxair, Inc. (Danbury, Conn.;, in accordance with its proposed business combination with Linde, has signed an agreement to sell the majority of its businesses in Europe to Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp. (Tokyo; The businesses generated sales of approximately €1.3 billion in 2017. The purchase price for this transaction is €5.0 billion. Praxair and Linde continue to work diligently with the objective of closing the merger in late 2018.


Indorama to acquire PET manufacturing assets in Egypt

June 20, 2018 — Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. (IVL; Bangkok, Thailand; entered into a joint-venture agreement with Dhunseri Petrochem Ltd. to acquire its Egyptian Indian Polyester Co. S.A.E. (EIPET) polyethylene terephthalate (PET) facility located in the Ain Sokhna free-trade zone in Egypt. This PET plant has a capacity of 540,000 m.t./yr, allowing an uninterrupted supply of recyclable PET. The addition of EIPET will increase Indorama Ventures’ existing global PET capacity by 10%.


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